Sunday, 9 June 2013

T17 - In the Vast Countryside

In the 1960s, especially during the Cultural Revolutionary era, millions of middle and high school students took on Chairman Mao's call, went to rural areas all over the nation, especially remote provinces such as Heilongjiang, Nemenggo, Yunan, Xinjiang, etc.  They played important roles in cultivating and building in rural and border areas which had small population.  In 1977, the policy about building rural areas was stopped and most of the educated youth went back to their cities, except those who have married and settled down in rural areas.

To commemorate the movement, a set of six stamps was released on December 22,1976. This was the last set of stamp issued during the Culture Revolutionary era.

(6-1) 4 fen, Receiving an old hoe of Nanniwan  接过南泥湾的老镢头
(6-2) 8 fen, Educated youth teaching a peasant  读书学习
(6-3) 8 fen, The new generation transforming nature  改天换地的新一代
(6-4) 8 fen, Contributing knowledge to agriculture  把知识献给农业
(6-5) 10 fen, A new herdswoman in the grassland  草原新牧民
(6-6) 20 fen, Cultivating and guarding the frontier region to defend the motherland 

(6-1)【Receiving an old hoe of Nanniwan】Nanniwan is a gorge about 90 km southeast of Yan'an, Shaanxi Province.  In response to economic blockades by Japanese occupation army and Kuomintang in 1941, the Communists begun experimenting with small scale agricultural development as well as poppy production at Nanniwan in a bid to become self-sufficient.  The stamp depicted a youth learning agriculture technique from an old farmer at Nanniwan, with Yan'an Pagoda Hill in the stamp background.

(6-2)【Educated youth teaching a peasant】The stamp probably depicted the scene at Xishuangbanna region, Yunnan Province.  The stamp showed an educated youth reading newsapaper, People's Daily (人民日报), to a Dai ethnic group (傣族) peasant.

(6-3)【The new generation transforming nature】The back of the stamp showed terraced fields and a blue sky.  The stamp foreground showed two youth of the communist "Youth Commando".  One youth raised a red flag, while the other shouting propaganda slogan to the farmers.

(6-4)【Contributing knowledge to agriculture】The stamp showed educated youth contributing knowledge to agriculture development in the rural areas.  This stamp is the most difficult stamp in this set as majority of the stamps were postal used.

(6-5)【A new herdswoman in the grassland】The stamp's theme was educated youth at the rural grassland regions, conferring knowledge to the herdsmen.  The stamp showed a girl happily milk feeding baby lamb on the grassland.   

(6-6)【Cultivating and guarding the frontier region to defend the motherland】Xinjiang at the northwestern China, spans over 1.6 million km2 and borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.  Xinjiang has abundant natural resources and historically was prone to invasion by external forces.  The stamp's theme was educated youth at Xinjiang, cultivating, educating and guarding the frontier region and defending the motherland.

T17 – In the Vast Countryside  在广阔天地里
Issue Date: 1976.12.22
Serial Number:T17
Scott No.:1293-1298
Michel No.:1303-1308
Number of stamps in Set:6
Denomination:4 fen for stamp 1
8 fen for stamp 2, 3, 4
10 fen for stamp 5
20 fen for stamp 6
Quantity of Issue:10,000,000 for stamp 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
5,000,000 for stamp 6
Sheet Composition:50 (10 X 5) for stamp 1, 3, 5
50 (5 X 10) for stamp 2, 4, 6
Size of stamps:31 X 38.5 mm for stamp 1, 3, 5
38.5 X 31 mm for stamp 2, 4, 6
Designer:Ye Wulin  叶武林
Printing Process:Photogravure
Printing House:Beijing Postage Stamp Printing Works

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