Friday, December 21, 2012

Mayotte

Postcard from the French island of Mayotte in the Mozambique Channel separating the mainland from Madagascar. The island had been a colony but voted overwhelmingly (95.2%) to become an integral part of France, akin to the status of the United States of America's Alaska or Hawaiʻi. Despite such strong support, the move was not without controversy. Neighbouring Comoros claims the island as its own and, until relatively recently, had fairly strong support for this claim in the United Nations. Mayotte also has traditional Islamic law governing some aspects of day-to-day life that will be gradually abolished and replaced by France's civil code, to the chagrin of local religious leaders. Many in France also question the benefit of changing Mayotte's status, as the island's economy is poorly developed and the cost of social programmes will be borne by French taxpayers.

There is even implications for postcard collectors too! French overseas territories such as Martinique and French Guiana do not have their own postal systems and use the normal French postal service. This means that Mayotte stamps will no longer be produced and Mayotte will cease to exist as an separate postal entity. My many thanks to Françoise for helping me get this one in under the wire!

Stamp showing tamarind tree and its fruit. Tamarind is native to tropical Africa, but its cultivation has spread around the world due to it popularity as an ingredient in many types of cooking and for its value as a medicinal plant.

4 comments:

  1. Mayotte is on my 'most wanted' list since 4 years. I hope to get postcard from there someday too ;)

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    1. Mayotte was a stroke of luck, really. I met someone briefly at a social event who mentioned they were going to Mayotte for work. I gently pleaded for a postcard, but really didn't have any expectations. It was really kind of that person to have even remembered our conversation much less gone to all the trouble of getting a card and sending it.

      If you send me your address, I can see if I can dig up her email. No guarantee, of course, that she might ever go back to Mayotte, but can't hurt to ask.

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  2. You mean my e-mail or postal address? :)

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    1. :-P Email me at tokyo_tintin [ at ] yahoo.com. We can sort the rest out by PM.

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