Sunday, May 27, 2012

ERASMUS 25 Years

Souvenir sheet

First Day Cover with stamp
First Day Cover with souvenir sheet

Deixem passar quem vai na sua estrada.
Deixem passar e não lhe digam nada.
Deixem, que vai apenas
Beber água de Sonho a qualquer fonte
Miguel Torga, Santo e Senha 

Make way for those who follow their path.
Make way and don’t say anything to them.
Make way for they are merely going to
Drink the Dream water from some fountain
Miguel Torga, “Santo e Senha”

The first one, an important personality of the Renaissance, a scholar and traveller, fought for dialogue in a time of theological disputes and religious intolerance.
The second one celebrates the 25th anniversary and is “Santo-e-Senha”  of a community of nearly three million people, spread across Europe, united by the identity ties of a time when the stage of life has moved from the country where it was born, to Europe. And from here, to the world. New explorers whose luggage comes down to the urge to part and learn, challenge homesickness and see there, what the television showed here, now with tastes and smells, sounds and textures and a palette of feelings whose colours time will not erase.
One parts in search of another, which in the end is finding oneself.
Why does one often part alone? Because one guesses a destination made of fortunes and adventures, seen from the couch back home; they do not anticipate the discomforts of travel, the need to develop capabilities hitherto unsuspected and minor, how to decide what and how to cook. The confrontation with different people, speakers of other languages, makes communication the first oddity.
Then the enchantment, a world that opens up to the exploration of the senses and intellect keen to know a culture, often so different from their own, a fascination that seizes those who so recently felt the hardship of homesickness.
On the curves of the road arise adversity, loneliness, being with someone you don’t know. You face the building of trust. You discover a new space and time in the mysteries of another language that unfolds in the exchange of affections that are woven, and, in that revelation, shady glimpses of the mother-tongue are perceived, which are so intimate that one would think they had no secrets.
Singularities of the place you left, deemed attributes of some silent parochialism for its modesty, they appear, by comparison, tinted by the colours of the identity of the people to which one belongs and enshrine in the soul with the tenderness with which one displays pictures of family and friends.
The new “me” is now the bearer of a cultural identity different from that in which (s)he immersed, but just as legitimate as it. A Citizen of Europe, a bigger project, a quilt of different colourful patchwork that one wishes to be interwoven with the threads of social cohesion, solidarity and tolerance based on the recognition of oneself in others and not in complacency or subservience.
In return, the transfiguration. The new “me” retraces the path that led him/her further: more secure and confident, resilient. Behind lies a time of joys and cries, of questioning and reconstruction, of teachings about genuine autonomy.
Ahead? Curiosity, restlessness, a taste for the new that is never fully satiated. The revelation of oneself, of the unity of a being in a global world, becomes the lens through which to read the events of existence. An existence unavailable to limit the now discovered freedom of being what one is, having (re)discovered oneself in the eyes of another. An existence that projects a future in love with the unknown that is not feared, equipped with the boldness of those who went and thus reinvented themselves and therefore know that they will leave, time and again, in the certainty that like so they will be more whole.

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 17 April 2012
Values: Stamps of €0,68
Designer: Folk Design
Credits: Excerto de Santo e Senha, de Miguel Torga
em Diário I (1941). Coimbra, edição de autor
Acknowledgments: Agência Nacional para a Gestão do Programa
Aprendizagem ao Longo da Vida.
Printer: INCM
Process: Offset
Size of Stamp: 40 x 30,6 mm
Size of souvenir sheet: 125 x 95 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Paper: FSC 110 g/m2
Sheet: sheets of 50 stamps

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