Posts tagged Buddy Bears

Buddy Bears in New Astana, Kazakhstan (Part II)

No, the Buddy Bears are NOT back in Kazakhstan. Who knows where they are on this globe. Buddy Bears were a GREAT tourist sensation in the new part of Astana a year ago. I’m showing MORE unpublished photos I took at the time but for some reason didn’t blog about them. Here’s the second time around, reliving the past. The little girl in pink wanted me to take photos of her next to each bear. I complied with about 3 or 4 photos.  Her father and his friend were laughing (maybe out of embarrassment for this little pixie had no inhibitions in front of other people’s cameras). Clearly she got it, people enjoyed taking photos next to these statues representing different countries. I wonder where they are now?

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“Bear” foot and more Buddy Bears

You would suppose that I’d be coming to the end of my photos of the Buddy Bears. They stand at friendly, disarming attention in Astana, Kazakhstan near the Baiterek Tower.  I had to show off the barefoot toes of the American Buddy Bear that is actually the Statue of Liberty. That’s in keeping with my featuring the Star Spangled Banner the last couple of blogs even though we are not even close to Fourth of July.  I’m just patriotic as I am sure everyone who goes to view these Buddy Bears are when they see their own nation’s representation. I guess my personal favorites are the most colorful Buddy Bears, either Sudan or Saudi Arabia.

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Bare Necessities and More Star Spangled Verses

Yesterday someone sang a verse I hadn’t heard before to our national anthem. It struck me that I only knew the first verse because we hear at every game back in the U.S.  This person sang from the heart which brought tears to my eyes.  Actually, truth be told, the tears were rolling down my cheeks, I couldn’t stop crying.  I know that every country represented in the Buddy Bears has their faithful and loyal country men.  In fact, I just met a girl named Olga from Moldova who was so tickled to see a photo of the Moldovan Buddy Bear when I showed her my slideshow of photos I’d taken.  Probably Moldova’s is one of my favorite because it shows the artist’s humor of being from a small country that noone seems to know about.  Take a look on the map and you will find Moldova next to Ukraine.  Kazakhstan is a much larger country, too big to ignore but people do and I hope that that changes.  It is an amazing country next to my own, of course.  I would hope that all Kazakhs and Kazakhstanis love their country and try to promote it by being the best they can be.

I know this is premature to blog about the Star Spangled Banner before Fourth of July but I think the words are so rich and meaningful.  Since I have lived in other countries away from my homeland for almost 16 years, I believe it makes me even more loyal and more patriotic to be an American.  Our country where we are born is part of our bare necessities, just like having one’s own family.  I am also very blessed to have a wonderful family as well. The last three verses of the American national anthem:

“On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,

In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:

‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

***

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,

A home and a country should leave us no more!

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

***

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

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“Bear”acudda and other Buddy Bears

What fun for kids, adults and couples to go and visit the Buddy Bears in Astana, Kazakhstan.  The cops are also there to supervise that nothing happens to them, perhaps they are watching 24/7 because they are really precious works of art that change with each year but represent the country by some symbols, shapes and colors.  I just didn’t know that this country of Seychelles Islands existed, must be really small, smaller than Marshall Islands.

What strikes me as odd is that many people don’t know about Kazakhstan yet it is 3 or 4 times the size of Texas.  Unfortunately, only 16 million people live in Kazakhstan who can promote their own country.  That’s why I blog, to help other westerners know about this amazing piece of real estate just west of China and south of Russia.

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“Bearly” Finished with the “United Buddy Bears”

With a gallery of over 125 United Buddy Bears standing with arms reaching above their heads in Astana, Kazakhstan, close to the Baiterek Tower, I have more photos to show.  One poster explains this better than I ever could:

“We have to get to know each other better…it makes us understand one another better, trust each other more, and live together more peacefully.”  Under this motto, the UNITED BUDDY BEARS promote living together in peace and harmony on their global tour…since the first exhibition in Berlin in 2002, around 22 million visitors world-wide have been able to admire the United Buddy Bears.”

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“Bearing” the Weight of the World – Buddy Bears

I bet you thought you had seen the last of the Buddy Bears, well you were wrong!  Some of the designs from the different countries are so amazingly artistic that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show off more of the United Buddy Bears.  I’ve been more disciplined at writing down the names for each country that goes with each bear.  I wish I had done that when I first started showing photos of these bears that are bearing the weight of the world in Astana, Kazakhstan.  Actually, no, it seems that they are putting their arms up in praise, a very non-threatening stance to take in this world that is getting off balance with wars and rumors of wars.

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Buddy Bears are Back (on my Blog)

You thought you had seen the last of the Buddy bears but that is NOT to be, they won’t be going anywhere outside of Astana until the end of July.  If you want to know more about our ceramic bear visitors, go to this website:   http://www.ubb-astana.com to find out more.  I think that the Swedish bear is funny, there must be a good reason the artist put him in a night shirt.  There’s also a song on his left foot that I need to ask my sister or mom if they know what it is.  Incredible the diversity that is shown in all these colorful bears.  The British bear has me a bit flummoxed as well.  The flag I understand but the headdress and goggles, I don’t comprehend.  Someone care to explain this to me?

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Kazakh Economy: Bull or “Buddy Bear” Market?

I’m “Buddy Bear” back! Subscribers to my blog, did you miss me?  Well, I missed you too while I had my MacBook in the shop getting extra memory installed.  I went through 48 hours of withdrawal from my laptop but tried to get by on my old trusty Dell and my iPod Touch. That didn’t work so well because our Internet went out at home and was intermittent at work.  You may think this is a lot of “bull” but no, it is just another day where I will show off the Buddy Bear.  The one I am featuring first is from the Netherlands, I should have asked a Dutch person I know what they think the artist meant with the “X” eye and belly button?  Also I’m featuring a Buddy Bear from Afghanistan, which portrays a mother comforting a child who is crying with a backdrop of beautiful mountains.  I have many more photos I took of the Buddy Bears.  I suppose I could blog a whole month doing the Buddy Bears but I’ll have to stop at some point.  Enjoy them while you can, they look better in bear-person of course.  But go see them and then take a ride up the Baiterek to get a view of the city of Astana!

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Visualize “Whirled Peas” Continues in Astana

Happy May 17th to Norway, this is their proud day of remembering their independence as a country.  I celebrated with my Norwegian relatives Stavanger in May of 1983 when I had just returned from my two year Peace Corps stint in the Philippines.  Difficult to go from third world experience to Norway’s first world. We were treated to so many nice meals and too much food (lefse – like bilini and gjetost – goat cheese) by our Norwegian hosts.  My dear grandma Dagny had so many Norwegian relatives she had kept up with from her childhood days, we had a rigorous schedule to keep to.  However, one day in this blurring whirlwind of activities, I just had to take a break from it all.  My head was in a spin about how one country had so much (Norway) while the Philippines had so little.

Yesterday I discussed with some friends the difference between cold cultures and warm cultures.  Norway by necessity has to produce and store food (think lutefisk – cod in lye) being in the northern climes while in the Philippines, closer to the equator, the Filipinos can pull off bananas and coconuts from trees year round.  Thus, efficiency and function is more important in cold cultures whereas in warm cultures, relations are the most important.  I’m living in a warm culture in Kazakhstan where relationship is most important even though winter in Astana can be bitterly cold. Go figure!!!

Some people may not have gotten the connection between Buddy Bears and their promotion of world peace with my title on yesterday’s blog of “whirled peas.”  At risk of being redundant but since I’m not feeling too creative today, I’ll continue to visualize world peace with more photos of the Buddy Bears.  I actually took more photos today, such an amazing display of color.

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Hungry Buddy Bears Visualize “Whirled Peas”

Fun to show off what Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, has for its tourists this summer until the end of July.  At least 125 Buddy Bears are standing with arms up in the air close to the Baiterek tower, from as many different nations painted brightly with motifs or themes that typify that country.  I can’t understand the cubism of blue and beige squares for Canada’s bear I blogged about yesterday.  The U.S. bear shows the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty, which I featured several days ago on this blog.  Japan has the one red dot against a pure white bear and some other Japanese calligraphy.  China has a bear wearing a silk jacket with dragons on it.  I don’t understand why the Kazakh artist chose the blue colors to represent Kazakhstan but to each artist, his own. I was wrong about the one I have today that looks Uzbek, it is really from Tajikistan.

I am showing off more of these bears today, see if you can guess what country they represent.  Our bumper sticker of “Visualize Whirled Peas” got a lot of mileage where we used to live in Washington D.C. area when Ken and I were first married.  I could see people in my rearview mirror pointing their finger up and whirling it around and smiling as they imagined whirled peas or “world peace.”  Let’s visualize along with the Buddy Bears world peace with all nations.

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