11.07.2006 / Presse
Buddy bear: introducing Bhutan
THIMPHU: One hundred and forty two “United Buddy Bears” greet hundreds of visitors every day at the Bebelplatz exhibition in front of Germany’s State Opera hall in Berlin. One of them is Bhutan’s buddy bear with the National Flag on the chest and ‘World Peace’ written on the lower part of its abdomen. Standing together hand in hand in a semi circle, the bears promote tolerance and mutual understanding between different nations and cultures, according to UNICEF, which organised the exhibition and the global tour. “I was particularly impressed when I saw Bhutan’s buddy bear because I had never heard of such a country,” a visitor from Oranienburg told Kuensel. “But it didn’t explain much about its culture and there was no one to explain either,” said another visitor, Maryam Mameghanian, from Berlin. “It does, however, introduce that such a country exists,” she told Kuensel. “I am curious to know about Bhutan.”
Artists from participating countries designed their own United Buddy Bear. Bhutan’s buddy bear was designed by a Bhutanese artist, Karma Yeshe, early this year and sponsored by Bhutan’s honorary consul in Germany, Dr. Wolfgang Pfeiffer.
The united buddy bears, which are on a global tour, were exhibited in Sydney in March and April before the exhibition in Berlin, which started from June 16. The exhibition in Berlin will end on July 31 and move to Vienna for public exhibition in September and October.
According to a spokesman for the information centre at Bebelplatz, all activities surrounding the United Buddy Bears 2006 exhibition in Berlin are in aid of the UNICEF project “School for Africa”. “A total of Euro 1,150,000 (as of May) has so far been generated through donations and selling buddy bears at auctions,” the spokesman said.
He said that during the global tour and at its end, United Buddy Bears would be sold off at auctions in late autumn after the exhibition in Vienna. During the last auction, United Buddy Bears were sold at the minimum of Euro 2,000 each. Most of them were bought by embassies of their respective countries. “After auctions we make buddy bears again to continue our project,” the spokesman told Kuensel.
The buddy bear project was started in 2002 with about 120 member countries. Bhutan joined this year along with seven other countries, including Andosra, Bahamas, Ghanna, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago and United Arab Emirates.
Lähde: South Asian Media Net