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31.03.2012 /

Wearing a vision

United Buddy Bears of Berlin come to India as symbols of tolerance and mutual understanding

The two-metre high sculpture, the Delhi Buddy Bear painted with attractive Indian motifs, that stands in the German Embassy since last year --a symbol of cultural exchange between the two countries – is designed by Annie Kumari, a student at the Delhi College of Art.

And now Germany has brought to India the United Buddy Bears which promote tolerance and understanding between different nations. The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit dedicated the United Buddy Bears Exhibition in Delhi titled ‘Germany and India: Infinite Opportunities 2011-2012' on display from March-end till mid-May. Created to promote tolerance and mutual understanding among different nations, cultures and religions, the Buddy Bear has become Berlin's unofficial symbol. Now 143 Buddy Bears, representing a number of United Nations recognised countries, stand together ‘hand in hand', symbolising the future-oriented vision of a peaceful world.

The Buddy Bears have been referred to as “the best ambassadors for Berlin and a cosmopolitan Germany”. The bear has been Berlin's emblem for centuries and the Buddy Bear was envisaged to capture the hearts of Berliners and their guests in various different designs. Since 2002, the ‘United Buddy Bears' have visited 23 metropolises, including Hong Kong, Tokyo, Istanbul, Sydney, Cairo, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur.

To celebrate 60 years of Indo-German diplomatic relations, Germany is organising a fifteen-month long event series, showcasing the entire spectrum of Indo-German collaboration in the fields of politics, business, culture, education, science and research.

With a thematic focus on ‘StadtRäume-City Spaces', the programme series across India will discuss the implications of rapid urbanisation and challenges posed by the fast changes in cities of both countries today. Mr. Wowereit said “Economic cooperation between India and Germany is growing by leaps and bounds. Berlin and Delhi have great potential for close cooperation and we want to take advantage of these opportunities together.” Mr. Wowereit is accompanied by a high-profile business delegation from different infrastructure-related industries.

The business delegation, led by the president of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry Berlin Eric Schweitzer, aims to explore new avenues of cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and tourism. “We know that Delhi faces huge challenges and it is putting infrastructure expansion at the forefront. Transportation infrastructure, water supply and disposal, energy – these are all major issues for growing cities,” Mr. Wowereit remarked. The highlight of the year of Germany in India is the “Mobile Space” – a set of modern multi-purpose pavilions, designed by German artist Markus Heinsdorff, which will be set up at the heart of five cities across India – Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Pune

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Source:  The Hindu