Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The European Diaries’ Category

Recently, while on a trip to Switzerland, yours truly had the opportunity of calling upon Mr. José Manuel Castro Santiago, Minister – Counsellor at the Embassy of Portugal in Bern.

Despite his busy schedule, he was kind enough to grant an audience to yours truly, who wished to present to him a copy of his book ‘Como Sobreviver Na Selva Empresarial’.

It happened to be a day when the soaring day temperature had left denizens of Berne gasping for breath and scurrying for cover. To match the heat outside, the Embassy of Portugal in Switzerland offered a degree of bonhomie and warmth, much like the genial and affable disposition of the people of Portugal.

An informal meeting took place in his tastefully done up office. He was genial, graceful and dignified. The frankness with which he spoke and the warmth he exuded was typical of the people of character, resource and rich culture he represents.

It transpired that he had also had a stint in India. He spoke warmly of his positive feel about the country. He touched upon its rich ancient culture and the diversity of its citizens. Yet another emerging economy he had been posted to in the past was that of Brazil.

He mentioned that he has himself authored and published a book which captures his experiences in a long and successful career. Yours truly expressed a wish that some kindly publisher might bring it out in English as well, so the wisdom contained therein may get shared more widely.

He was happy to know that yours truly had been associated with the Tata group for close to a decade, that too in the field of leather footwear and components. The courtesy extended to an ordinary soul from an emerging economy like India was impeccable.

Diplomats represent all that their land is and aspires to be. Much like Ms. Clara Nunes dos Santos, the Ambassador of Portugal to Norway (whom yours truly had the opportunity to meet recently), Mr. José Manuel Castro Santiago is also no exception. One has no doubt that both of them handle managerial challenges coming their way with characteristic aplomb.

One wishes them and their country a great innings in the days to come.

(Notes:

This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016, courtesy Liberty Seguros and Vida Economica.

The English version of the book, entitled ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, was released recently.

Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/a-meeting-with-the-ambassador-of-portugal-in-norway)

 

Read Full Post »

Recently, while on a trip to Norway, yours truly had the opportunity of calling upon Ms. Clara Nunes dos Santos, the Ambassador of Portugal in Norway.

Despite her busy schedule, she was kind enough to grant an audience to yours truly, who wished to present to her a copy of his book ‘Como Sobreviver Na Selva Empresarial’.

On a day when the skies were a characteristic Norwegian grey, the Embassy of Portugal in Oslo stood out in its dignified glory. Much like the genial and warm people of Portugal, the welcoming interior left one with an inner glow of joy, much akin to a homecoming of sorts.

An informal meeting took place in her exquisitely done up office. She was charm, grace and dignity personified. The frankness with which she spoke and the warmth she exuded was typical of the people of character, resource and rich culture she represents.

She was kind enough to leaf through the book and found that it demystified the art and science of management in a lucid manner. The Portuguese translation came in for some praise. The courtesy extended to an ordinary soul from an emerging economy like India was impeccable.

Ambassadors represent all that their land is and aspires to be. Ms Clara Nunes dos Santos is no exception. Given her keen intelligence, sharp eye, wit and humour, one has no doubt that she handles managerial challenges coming her way with characteristic aplomb.

One wishes her and her country a great innings in the days to come.

(Note:

This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016, courtesy Liberty Seguros and Vida Economica.)

(The English version of the book, entitled ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, was released recently.)

(Related Post:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/the-book-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-1-0)

Read Full Post »

The Rosengart Collection at Lucerne in Switzerland, puts a clear emphasis on Classic Modernism, featuring the works of several artists.

picaso-09

A major part of the gallery is devoted to Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee.

Picasso

picaso-08

There are 32 paintings and some 100 drawings, water colours and numerous graphic and sculptural works of Pablo Picasso. Combined, all these reflect the genius and the creative vitality of the renowned artist.

picaso-01

picaso-02

Picaso

picaso-05

picaso-12

Around 125 wonderfully resonant watercolours of Paul Klee form the second focus of the collection. The works are chronologically arranged, duly numbered, and embody the inexhaustible visual and narrative wealth of his works.

picaso-20

picaso-21

picaso-22

picaso-23

picaso-24

picaso-25

The gallery also showcases the genius of 21 other artists. These include Monet, Cezanne, Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse, Braque, Leger, Miro and Chagall.

picaso-31

picaso-30

picaso-32

Each artist has his or her own unique imprint. Over time, as artists evolve, so do their works. We shall seldom come to know the source of their inspiration at any given point in time. But the legacy they leave behind is for all of us to cherish.

Their works represent a collage of nature and human emotions which happen to be universal in nature. In that sense, their works belong to humanity in general.

(Note: The Rosengart Gallery does not permit photography. Images here of some of the paintings seen at the gallery are courtesy the world wide web.)

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/a-leisurely-stroll-through-lucerne-in-switzerland

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-1-of-3)

Read Full Post »

Centrally located in Switzerland, Lucerne is a great place to spend some time in. A leisurely stroll through its streets enables one to relish the kind of buildings which dot its streets and also appreciate the art which adorns their outer walls.

Lucerne 01

Lucerne 02

Lucerne 03

Lucerne 06

Lucerne 07

Lucerne 08

Lucerne 09

Lucerne 10

Lucerne 11

Since the city straddles the Reuss where it drains the lake, it has a number of bridges. For a globe trotter, here are some of the tourist attractions on offer in Lucerne.

The Chapel Bridge

Lucerne Chapel Bridge

lucerne-chapel-bridge

The most famous is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a 204 m long wooden covered bridge originally built in 1333. It is said to be the oldest covered bridge in Europe, although much of it had to be replaced after a fire on 18 August 1993, allegedly caused by a discarded cigarette. Part way across, the bridge runs by the octagonal Water Tower (Wasserturm), a fortification from the 13th century. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th century depicting events from Lucerne’s history. The Bridge with its Tower is the city’s most famous landmark.

The Jesuit Church

Lucerne Jesuit Church

Lucerne’s Jesuit Church is the first large baroque church built in Switzerland north of the Alps.

Bollywood buffs would be delighted to recall the appearance of both the above in a song from the movie ‘Laga Chunari Mein Daag’.

The Spreuer Bridge

Lucerne 12

Down the river, between the Kasernenplatz and the Mühlenplatz, the Spreuer Bridge zigzags across the Reuss. Constructed in 1408, it features a series of medieval-style 17th century plague paintings by Kaspar Meglinger titled ‘Dance of Death’. The bridge has a small chapel in the middle that was added in 1568.

Lucerne 05

The Lion Monument

luzern-lion-monument

Bertel Thorvaldsen’s famous carving of a dying lion (the Lion Monument, or Löwendenkmal) is found in a small park just off the Löwenplatz. The carving commemorates the hundreds of Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when an armed mob stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

Glacier Garden Museum

lucerne-mirror-maze

Great informative museum about the nature, earth science and Lucerne history. It is amazing to know that centuries back, this area was on the sea coast!

The mirror maze is a must see, beautiful and real fun. Good view-point at the top. One down side is that it does not have all the descriptions in English.

The Transport Museum

lucerne-transport-museum

A visit to the Transport Museum is highly enlightening. It has a large and comprehensive museum exhibiting all forms of transport, including locomotives, automobiles, ships, and aircraft.

There is a separate section devoted to the history and the execution of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which is a railway base tunnel through the Alps in Switzerland, which opened on the 1st of June 2016, with full service to begin in December 2016. With a route length of 57.09 km it is the world’s longest and deepest traffic tunnel and the first flat, low-level route through the Alps.

The Natural History Museum

lucerne-natural-history-museum

A permanent biological exhibition shows flora and fauna from Central Switzerland, and a variety of live animals can be seen in aquariums and terrariums. Rotating panels show butterflies and insects from all over the world.

The ground floor has interesting displays which keep changing from time to time. Kids have real fun learning about diverse animals.Lucerne 13

Lucerne 14

The Culture and Convention Center

lucerne-kkl

The Culture and Convention Center (KKL) beside the lake in the center of the city was designed by Jean Nouvel. The center has one of the world’s leading concert halls, with acoustics by Russell Johnson. Here are some snippets from a recent art exhibition at the KKL Gallery.Lucerne 16

Lucerne 17

Lucerne 18

Lucerne 19

Lucerne 20

A cruise in the lake is invigorating, to say the least.

Lucerne 15

Pilatus nearby beckons

lucerne pilatus

At 2,132 meters above sea level, Pilatus is the ideal adventure mountain for the whole family.

lucerne-pilatus-cogwheel-train

A visit to the Pilatus using the cog-wheel funicular, the world’s steepest at a maximum gradient of 48%, is exhilarating.

The Rosengart Museum has a delectable collection the works of Pablo Picasso and many others. More about this later.

Each city has a unique characteristic of its own. Lucerne in Switzerland is no exception.

(Note: Some of the photographs have been taken from Wikipedia)

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-1-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/a-brand-called-switzerland

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/flying-over-the-swiss-alps

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/sherlock-holmes-the-honorary-citizen-of-meiringen-switzerland)

Read Full Post »

zuerich_rietberg-villa_wesendonck

Indian art is much revered and valued in all major countries. So, the priceless collection of sculptures and paintings at Museum Rietburg in Zurich comes as no surprise.

Here are some of the artefacts one discovers while taking a saunter down the museum. These make one realize the immense potential of the soft power of India.

Zurich Rietberg 13

Zurich Rietberg 10

Zurich Rietberg 11

Zurich Rietberg 7

Zurich Rietberg 12

Zurich Rietberg 14

Zurich Rietberg 15

Zurich Rietberg 16

Zurich Rietberg 17

Zurich Rietberg 18

Zurich Rietberg 19

Zurich Rietberg 20

Zurich Rietberg 21

Zurich Rietberg 22

rietberg-india-buta-jumadi

Zurich Rietberg 23

Zurich Rietberg 24

rietberg-india-gita-govinda

rietberg-india-patan-sari

rietberg-india-uday-shankar

Art of any kind perhaps gets appreciated because it connects us with our own inner sense of aesthetics, beauty, love and harmony. The attempt to preserve and showcase the artworks of distant cultures and continents is praiseworthy indeed. It is a good example for other countries to emulate.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-1-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-2-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/a-saunter-down-the-louvre-part-1

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/the-dance-of-life-at-the-national-gallery-of-norway)

Read Full Post »

We live in times when protectionist tendencies appear to be on the rise. However, the Rietberg Museum at Zurich represents a global and inclusive view. It shows us the value humanity can attach to a profound respect for diverse cultures.

The Rietberg Museum is the only art museum of non-European cultures in Switzerland, the third-largest museum in Zürich, and the largest to be run by the city itself.

A leisurely stroll through the corridors makes one discover some exquisite works of art from across the world.img_4461

img_4432

img_4433

img_4434

Zurich Rietberg 3

Zurich Rietberg 4

Zurich Rietberg 5

Zurich Rietberg 6

Zurich Rietberg 8

Zurich Rietberg 9

In the early 1940s, the city of Zürich purchased the Rieterpark and the Wesendonck Villa. In 1949, the Wesendonck Villa was selected, by referendum, to be rebuilt into a museum for the Baron Eduard von der Heydt’s art collection, which he had donated to the city in 1945. This was carried out in 1951-52 under the architect Alfred Gradmann. The Rietberg Museum was opened on the 24 th of May, 1952.

(Related posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-1-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-3-of-3)

Read Full Post »

The Museum Rietberg Zurich is the only art museum for non-European cultures in Switzerland, exhibiting an internationally renowned collection of art from Asia, Africa and Ancient America.

Artworks from India jostle for space along with those from Africa, China, Japan, Tibet, Ancient America, Oceania and Southeast Asia. A veritable collection of old Swiss carnival masks brings in the local flavour.

Here are some of the artefacts one discovers while taking a leisurely walk through the corridors of the museum.

reitberg-afrika-headdressHeaddress

(Cameroon, 19th century)

rietberg-china-buddhaBuddha Shakyamuni

(China, 536 AD)

rietberg-umaUma

(Cambodia, late 7th century)

rietberg-siddhartha-indienMara’s daughters tempting Prince Siddhartha

(Pakistan, 2nd-3rd century)

rietberg-afrika-dragon-masterDragon master

(Mali, 13th/14th century)

rietberg-japan-stories-of-iseStories of Ise

(Japan, circa 1796)

rietberg-tibet-vairochanaVairochana, the Cosmic Buddha

(Tibet, 14th century)

rietberg-south-america-mushroom-stoneMushroom Stone

(El Salvador, 300 BC-250 AD)

rietberg-china-meditationMeditation

(China, 1649)

rietberg-china-green-taraThe green Tara

(China, circa 1405)

rietberg-south-america-mayan-drinking-vesselMayan drinking vessel

(South America, 600-900 AD)

rietberg-japan-kokuzoKokuzo – the Buddha to sharpen the intellect

(Japan, late 12th century)

rietberg-egypt-heracliusEmperor Heraclius in triumph

(Egypt, 7th century)

This unique collection is designed to heighten the understanding and appreciation of non-European art and cultures. The crowds which pour over minute details of many of the artworks on display bear a testimony to the fact that the love for art is universal, not confined to barriers of any kind – natural or man-made.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-2-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/a-saunter-down-the-rietberg-museum-at-zurich-in-switzerland-part-3-of-3)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »