The year 2011 is a meaningful year that marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Australia. Australia participated in the Korean War in 1950 as a member of the UN forces. During the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1961, the two countries have solidified their friendship and amity through active exchanges in various areas such as politics, economy, culture, society, etc. In celebration and commemoration of this 50th anniversary, Korea Post and Australia Post are issuing a joint stamp featuring traditional musical instruments of the two countries – the Haegeum of Korea and Didgeridoo of Australia.
Being a string-rubbing instrument, Haegeum produces its sound by rubbing the bow on two strings. On the bamboo-made resonance box, a long bamboo stick is attached and over this bamboo stick, two strings made of silk thread are tied. Resin is administered onto the bow made of horsehair, and the bow is put between the two strings. When the bow is rubbed against the strings, the sound is produced. Haegeum has no fixed clef: the pitch of the sound is determined by the position of the hand on the strings and the intensity of string-pulling. Due to its clarity and generally high pitch, the Haegeum is also called “Ggang ggang i” and characterized by its poignant tone. Widely used in court music and folk music, it has recently made a comeback in fusion music, gaining huge popularity among the public.
The Didgeridoo, a wind instrument, was created about 1,500 years ago by the aboriginal people in Northern Australia. It is made primarily from eucalyptus trees growing in Australia with its surface decorated with various patterns and wax being administered on the instrumental part where the player’s mouth is placed. The longer the instrument is, the lower the tone it produces. The most commonly used Didgeridoo is 1.2 meters long. Didgeridoo produces its sounds through the player’s breath and lip vibration. Since ancient times, it has been played during ceremonies either together with dances and songs or as a solo. Today, it is being widely played not only in Australia but also around the world.
Title: The 50th Anniversary of Korea-Australia Diplomatic Ties
Date of Issue: 28 October 2011
Country: South Korea
Denominations: 270 won