Asia, Laos, Mainland Southeast Asia - Indochina, Southeast Asia

Laos – Culture (2003, 1000 kips)

Laos, Laotian Ethnic Groups Women: Lao Lum, Lao Sung and Lao Theung, Pha That Luang pagoda in Vientiane.

Traditionally there are three ethnic groups of Laotians, and they are illustrated beautifully on our banknote by these three ladies.   The Lao Soung, or Lao Sung, are the highland dwelling peoples constituting about 10% of the populace.  The Lao Theung, or Lao Thoeng, indicates the midland Lao peoples and represents about 25% of the populace.  The Lao Lum, or Lao, are the majority ethinc group, representing about 50% of the populace.

Over the left shoulder of our three ladies is the Pha That Luang pagoda.  Regarded as dating from the 3rd century, that is almost 2000 years old, this is the most significant pagoda in Laos.  It is rumored to contain the breastbone of the Buddha himself. It is said that the architecture contains numerous references to Laotian culture which has furthered its significance as an icon of Laotian nationalism.  It is said that the three levels of the pagoda each reflect a dimension of Buddhist doctrine.

Laos, Cattle, Power lines, Elephant, Deity
Laos, National Emblem

The National Emblem adorns the front of our banknote and is illustrated her.  The Pha That Luang Pagoda is at center top.  Left center is the modern empowering hydroelectric dam while right center is the forest on the traditional paddy field; the road forward is between the two.  The name of the state is inscribed below the one-half gear wheel on the bottom,
Fully ripened rice stalks encircle the whole, each wrapped, and inscribed between them, with the five words of the Laotian Motto: Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity, Prosperity”.

 

Asia, Nepal, Southern Asia

Nepal – King Birendra

King Birendra Bir Bikram is featured on the front of this banknote of Nepal, wearing a plumed crown.  Described from his youth as extraordinarily kind and emotional, he was a firm advocate of democracy for his people, the people of Nepal.  He was King in Nepal from 1972 until 2001, when he died.

Centered on the front of the banknote is the Bajrayogini Temple near Sankhu and Kathmandu.

 

Nepal banknote, 2 rupees, front
Nepal banknote, 2 rupees, back

 

Detail from back of Nepal banknote, 2 rupees.

 

 

 

Detail from back of Nepal banknote, 2 rupees.

From Wikipedia: Before 28 May 2008, the modern emblem was preceded by a coat of arms, generally consisting of a white cow, a green [pheasant] (Himalayan monal), two [Gurkha] soldiers (one carrying a [kukri] and a bow, and the other a rifle), peaks of the [Himalayas], two crossed Nepalese flags and kukris, the footprints of [Gorakhnath] (the guardian deity of the Gurkhas) and the royal headress. It also contained the same red scroll with the national motto.
The emblem of Nepal was changed during the reconciliation period following the Nepalese Civil War. On 28 May 2008, a new emblem in the style of socialist heraldry was introduced. It contains the flag of Nepal, Mount Everest, green hills symbolising the hilly regions of Nepal and yellow colour symbolising the fertile Terai region, male and female hands joining to symbolise gender equality, and a garland of Rhododendron (the national flower). Atop this is a white silhouette in the shape of Nepal.

 

The elements of this intriguingly dense National Coat of Arms are many, and include the following:

Coat of Arms of Nepal from 1962-2008

One Plumed Crown

Two feet

Two crossed Flags

Two crossed knives

One Mountain peak flanked by personalized moon and personalized sun

White cow and a pheasant

Six Hibiscus flowers

Two citizens, one with a rifle and one with a bow

One Inscribed scarlet banner in snaskrit, the English interpretation being: Mother and Motherland are greater than heaven.