GERMAN BUDDY BEARS Cultures Together

As in several embassies around the world, German Embassy in Kathmandu has placed a Buddy Bear at its premises in Gyaneshwor

Aug. 11, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 10, No.2,August 12,2016,(Shrawan,28,2073)

Commissioned for placement at the German Embassy premises, a Buddy Bear has come to Nepal on a global tour of the Berlin buddies whose motto it is to promote living together in peace and harmony.

“Buddy Bears are the heraldic animals of Berlin, which not only symbolize the capital of Germany, but represent far more: tolerance, intercultural understanding, freedom and peaceful integration amongst peoples all over the world. These are the core values which the Buddy Bears endeavor to promote,” said a press release issued by German Embassy.

The message of the Buddy Bear is that it stands together hand in hand symbolizing the future vision of peaceful work. As in other parts of the world, Nepal’s Buddy Bear stands for the poor people, of different countries and cultures, not for political systems.

Created by Doris Zacheres, a German artist based in Kathmandu, the Buddy Bear has several elements of Nepalese and German symbols integrated in the bear.

The Nepali symbols contain a Mahubani paint in the form of Fish, Lotus Flower, Rhododendron, the ‘Holy Cow', mountain, and the fertile plain on the front of the Buddy Bear, the press release notes. The symbols of Nepali flag with its crescent moon and the sun, which symbolize eternity of Nepal, and a Dhaka weave representing the color of German flag, merge on the back of the bear.

Madhubani painting is also called Mithila painting. Its literal meaning is the forest of honey. This is depicted on the bear’s belly, including the circular portrayal of the often-used lotus flower and fish symbolizing fertility, procreation, good luck and the circle of life.

The national flower of Nepal is Rhododendron. The Nepalese refer to its bloom as the Soul of Nepal. The cow on the right arm of the Bear is worshipped as the incarnation of Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth.

The German colors of the flag (black, red and gold) representing freedom and unity were painted in a form of a Nepali Dhaka weave and the eagle on its left arm symbolizes perspicacity, courage, strength and immortality, but is also considered as “king of the skies” and the message of the highest gods. Additionally, the Cornflower, as one of the German national plants, represents all Germans living abroad,” said artist Zacheres, who is managing director of the highly revered Luxury Label Bajra. However, she continues practicing artistic vision in Nepal.

"I am a creative designer not an artist." Her most recent work is the design of the Buddy Bear which was commissioned by Germany Embassy.

The paintings applied on the bears understand local communities and mankind in a positive manner. The Buddy Bear enhances the way of communicating and living with people who have diverse cultural backgrounds, hence, enhancing a harmonious intercultural living amongst ones' neighbors.

She used the blue and red colors as signs of the Nepalese flag and the picture of eagle from the German Flag on the other side.

The two-meter tall  Buddy Bear also carries Mt. Everest, the highest point of the world to Nepal’s terai plains. The painting drawn on the body of Buddy Bear speaks volumes about the cultural diversity of Nepal and Germany.

Ambassador of Germany to Nepal Matthias Meyer unveiled the Buddy Bear at the Embassy premises in presence of embassy staff.

“I do creations for peace. I used the various symbols of Nepal and Germany, integrating both. I used the blue color as a sign of peace and harmony,” said artist Doris.

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