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 Masked vahine 2020
  Issue : juillet 31 of 2020
  Printing : Offset
  Imprimerie : Phi@poste
  Production : FARE RATA 2020
  Related products :
   - First day covers

11 March 2020, a first case of Covid-19 coronavirus is confirmed in French Polynesia and marks the entry of the five archipelagos into the pandemic. We entered into lockdown from 20 March to 21 May 2020. Like other countries, Polynesia has lived in slow motion during these weeks of lockdown. Gatherings on public roads and in the private sphere were forbidden, travel outside the home limited except in case of emergency or to buy food, or to go to work for authorized people. The barrier gestures also shook the habits since kisses and other handshakes were proscribed, and the mask compulsory (fabric or surgical).

In the first half of 2020, the health check is rather satisfactory since no deaths related to the Covid-19 coronavirus were found among the 60 positive cases tested. Several companies and organizations have prepared for the pandemic. FARE RATA, the French Polynesia Post Office, and the entire OPT group to which it belongs, have implemented a whole series of measures to protect their agents as well as their customers. Traditionally, the philatelic issue of July is devoted to the Heiva, the most important Polynesian cultural festival, cancelled this year due to the pandemic, since groups of traditional songs and dances could no longer rehearse during the first months of the year.

Also, the philately of French Polynesia wished to evoke the scope of the pandemic on Fenua, through a painting by the artist Maryse NOGUIER that she called "Vahine masquées", which illustrates in her coloured watercolor, two ladies "vahine" dressed in two-tone pareo dresses, with the masks in coordinated fabrics, talking strollingly, separated by 6 coconut, a nod to regulatory distancing, a barrier gesture requires…

It should be noted that Maryse NOGUIER, selftaught watercolour painter living in Moorea since 1981 has already put her special light on "vahine" for Polynesian philately in 2005 and 2011. This evocation is realistic but optimistic, if the pandemic has necessarily imprinted its mark in the country following the respect of sanitary measures, it has not stopped the spontaneity, the warmth and the kindness of the Polynesians.

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Masked vahine
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