Friday 13 August 2021

Six Penny, a Wedding Charm

Six Penny, a Wedding Charm

A few weeks back, I got a Sixpence for my collection.  I was very excited about it, not only for that it is nearly 93 years old, but also for its odd denomination, 6 pence.  When I showed my collection to my UK friend, she told me that it is considered a lucky charm at weddings.  Intrigued with this piece of information, I started digging for more information about this belief.

Though my 6 pence coin depicts the acorns, the back of some six-pence coins depicts the English rose, Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, and Welsh leek.  Because of the Scottish thistle, it is considered a lucky charm. 

One fine day in the 1200s, the Danes from northern Europe attempted to invade Scotland.   Scottish soldiers were sleeping as it was mid of night. The raiders were bare-footed and because of the darkness, accidentally they were stepped on the thorny thistle flower, which is abundant in Scotland.  They started to shout out of pain and this alerted the sleeping Scottish soldiers and saved them.  That day onwards, the Scottish believed the thistle to be a good luck Charm, so as the 6 pence.

The highly superstitious people believed that evil spirits were everywhere and they will cause some harm to the people especially during weddings and in ritualistic events to halt it.  So they started to tuck a 6 pence on the bride's left shoe to keep these evil spirits away.  They believed that this 6 pence will bring luck, wealth, and prosperity too.

When I dive deep into this, I came across many interesting things about how coins play a part in European marriages.   In Sweden, to bless the couple, the bride's mother gives her daughter a gold coin to put in her right shoe and the father gives a silver coin for her left shoe before the wedding.   

In Lithuania, the wedding guests bring silver coins and throw them onto the dance floor. One of the coins is marked with the bride and groom’s initials and, the wedding guests pick up all the coins and whoever picks up the initialed coin gets to have the next dance with either the bride or the groom.

In Spain, the groom gives a coin to his bride after the rings have been blessed to show his willingness to share all that he has. The bride will then keep the coin and pass it to her eldest son to give to his own bride. This tradition is also common in Latin America.

In Poland, as the bride and groom leave the ceremony, the wedding guests throw coins over the married couple. The pair then gather these coins together to show their unity.

You might be having this kind of tradition and faith in your country.  Eagerly waiting to hear your story.

Captivating Kuna

In this article, I am going to share "The Croatian Currency".

Like Dollars and pound, Croatia also has a unique currency.  Prior to 1994, it switched between the Kuna and Dinar.  But since then, It's only been the Kuna.  We'll be diving into some curious tales about this, focusing more on the interesting facts and instances about the Kuna.

Kuna (Kn) which in Croatian means pine marten, an animal similar to the squirrel.  In the past, pine marten’s fur was used for trading as they were prized for their very fine fur.  The winter coat of the European pine marten has always been much in demand.  I also heard that in Roman times, taxes were paid in terms of Marten skins.

Kuna paper money comes in 8 denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 Kuna notes.

I managed to lay hands on only the 10 Kuna.

The funny thing that one can notice in the notes is that the longer the man’s beard, the more value a banknote has.

5 Kuna – count Fran Krsto Frankopan and duke Petar Zrinski (withdrawn in 2007)
10    Kuna – Istrian bishop Juraj Dobrila - beardless
20    Kuna – Duke Josip Jelačić - has simple moustache
50    Kuna – poet and Dubrovnik nobleman Ivan Gundulić 
100  Kuna – Duke and poet Ivan Mažuranić- Mustache with a little beard
200  Kuna – politician Stjepan Radić
500  Kuna – poet and Split nobleman Marko Marulić
1000 Kuna – politician Ante Starčević

1, 2, and 5 Kuna come in silver colour coins too.  I have got 1 and 2 Kuna.  You can see the 'pine marten' on the below Kuna coins.

Let's look at the fragmentation.  1 Kuna is made of 100 Lipa (Lp). The word lipa means linden tree in Croatian.  It's very normal to see these trees in marketplaces in the olden days.  As it has wider branches and dense structure, it served as an umbrella for the sellers.  It is a wonderful medicinal plant too.  Their, flowers, leaves, and barks are used to treat many diseases, especially lung-related ones.  You can see their leaves on the below Lipa coins.

Lipa has its own coin denominations -1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50. All are silver colour, except 5 and 10 Lipa which is golden.  Looking for 1 and 2 Lipa to add to my collection.

Sri Lanka - Pearl of Indian Ocean

 Sri Lanka - Pearl of Indian Ocean

Though Sri Lanka is a small country in the Indian Ocean, fondly known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.  It is unique and forward in many ways.  Even most countries that are more developed than Sri Lanka are yet to have female leaders, Sri Lanka was the first country in the world to elect a woman President - Sirimavo Bandaranaike,  in the year 1960 itself.

In 1972, Ceylon was renamed Sri Lanka, since then Sri Lankan rupee is their currency.  Earlier they were using Indian money and British currencies.

When most of the country's banknotes have statesmen, creators, and achievers in their banknotes, Sri Lanka gives importance to their country's development, culture, and heritage on their banknotes, except for the one commemorative note, which depicts President Rajapakse.  

One of the unique and instantly recognizable features of Sri Lankan notes is the vertical printing on the reverse side.

The Sri Lankan rupee is divisible into 100 cents. Sri Lankan currency in circulation includes 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent coins, as well as 1, 2, 5, and 10 rupee coins. Banknotes are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000 rupees.

I got all the denomination of 11th series banknotes which focuses on Development and Prosperity, Butterflies, Birds, and Dancers.

The 10th series is dedicated to Culture.  I got only 10,20 and 50 rupees in this series.

My friends from Sri Lanka, Nadeera and Kumudini walked me through the dances of the 11th series.

Ves Netuma (Ves Dance), the most popular form of dance in Sri Lanka, belongs to the classical dance known as Kandyan Dancing. It is believed that the Kandyan Dance originated in the IV century BCE with the ritual known as the Kohomba Kankariya, which is performed to propitiate the deity known as Kohomba to obtain relief from various sicknesses, pestilences and to ensure health and prosperity throughout the year. 
Geta Beraya (Kandyan Drum) is the main drum used in the Kandyan Dancing tradition, The drum tapers from the center towards the ends.

Vadiga Patuna dance is a performance of the Low Country dance tradition. It narrates the arrival of some Brahmins from Vadige Land to relieve a queen of a serious ailment. The verse and dialogue are in Palli Sanskrit and Tamil languages.

This banknote shows a drummer with Yak Beraya and Thelme Netuma Dancer.  Thelme Netuma (Thelme Dance) belongs to the ritual of Devol Maduwa, which is performed to propitiate a deity known as Devol. The Theirne Netuma is a pure rhythmical and classical dance form of Sri Lanka Low Country dances. The main drum used is the Yak Beraya.

Malpadaya Netuma belongs to the Sabaragamuwa dance form. It is associated with the ritual known as Gammaduwa to propitiate the Pattini goddess in order to obtain a good harvest, Immunity, and relief from infectious diseases. The main drum used is the Davul Beraya.
Davul Beraya is a cylindrical drum, which is shorter than Geta Beraya and Yak Beraya. This drum is accompanied in the Sabaragamuwa dance tradition and often used in Buddhist temples. The right side is played with a stick known as Kadippu and the left is prayed with the hand. This drum is also used in Ana Bera (for communication).