Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

Humanity is defined as the quality or state of being human, and therefore encompasses all the characteristics that humans are capable of: good and bad, and all the ones in between. However, the term also refers to the quality or state of being humane which means capable of compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals.

If you take a walk with me in the streets of Bratislava, you’ll see some fine sculptures celebrating both human and humane characteristics.

 

 

Just before the entrance to the hotel where I was staying stands a nice sculpture of a Girl with a deer which is also the smallest fountain in the town. If you look to the right you’ll see a statue of Hans Christian Andersen in the background.

girl with a deer

 

During his visit to Bratislava Andersen exclaimed: “This city is a fairy tale itself”. On his return from Slovakia he produced his famous masterpiece The Little Match Girl. Is it possible that he found his inspiration on this very square?

andersen statue

 

In one of the nearby streets you can see the statue of Schone Naci, a well known figure in the early 20th century. A poor and mentally ill man, he paraded the streets of Bratislava in old, but elegant attire greeting passers-by with his top-hat and bowing to ladies.

 

Schone Naci

 

On Hlavne Namestie (literally the main square) you can see the statue of Napoleon’s Army Soldier that reminds visitors of Napoleon himself. Napoleon visited Bratislava in 1805 and then in 1809. His army blew up the Devin Castle near the town. Both tourists and locals enjoy sitting on the bench with the soldier at their back.

 

Napoleon's soldier

 

Cumil is the favourite tourist attraction in the town. He dates back only to 1997, and as far as I could see he is heavily abused by tourists and children that like to sit on his head. It has been reported that he was damaged by car drivers on several occasions. Nevertheless, he is a good-humoured chap who is taking a break from his dirty work and enjoying the view of the town and peeking up women’s skirts.

 

Cumil

 

I am at Hviezdoslavovo námestie (“Hviezdoslav Square”) now, the square named after Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav (Hviezdoslav being his pen name meaning celebrator of stars), an innovative poet whose style is characterized by extensive use of self coined words and expressions.

 

Hviezdoslav

 

Right there at Hviezdoslav Square I noticed a group of people standing still with their arms up, gathered in a silent protest against organ harvesting in Chinese prisons. “Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong meditators are held in prison camps across China. For the past decade, they and other prisoners have been medically tested, killed, and used as a living donor bank for China’s transplant industry”. Their silent action drew my attention and I signed the petition. More details on organpetition.org.

 

petition

 

Humane or only human, we are all part of humanity and as such have the responsibility of being human towards each other.

This is my response to Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity.

https://bopaula.wordpress.com/category/weekly-photo-challenge/

106 Comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

  1. I definitely went for a darker interpretation than what you did! This looks like a nice city. Your photos are a good advertisement for Bratislava. I know some of Hans Christian Andersens stories from when I was a kid.

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    • The Little Match Girl was my favourite 🙂 Thanks for checking it out Max. I am coming over to your place to see how dark you can be 😉

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              • Just an experiment, plus one guy that commented in your blog the other day wrote that he often didn’t have time to write comments, because he had so many blogs to visit.
                I can relate to that and thought to myself that he has a valid point.

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                    • It seems I will stay alone in my determination not to add it. You know, they still keep clicking likes on reader, and I can see them, and I can resist them 😀 Well, I am not budging, but keep me posted of your findings and if it makes interaction more satisfactory to you. I find that many comments are superficial too, and likes well – the people that just click likes most of the time do not even read the content – they are addicted to clicking. Anyway, it is very nice of you Max to have informed me, and I am not judging you in any way. xx

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                    • I saw it and you are forgiven. I don’t mind likes from people that also comment – it is a package deal and I take it as a bonus, like the unwanted carrots I got for free at the produce market today after I bought cabbage 😀

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                    • Another thing, if they were really cool, they would give us 5 stars on each post instead – that would be a really generous and humane thing to do 😀

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  2. Beautiful photos, Paula. Wow, I lead a sheltered life. That organ harvesting is just something that never crossed my mind. I mean, I know there is so much evil in this world and it’s a travesty. But I also believe that they’ll get their just rewards….

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  3. Do treat others as you wish they treat you – in a way that I insist on this – if it doesn’t work so I treat others as they treat me – it works and it’s humanity – really enjoyed these photos, excellent… 🙂

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    • Eye for an eye will make the whole world blind – or something like that – Ghandi. I am not the one to turn the other cheek either ;). Happy to see you here on this wet Friday night. Thank you, mon Drake 🙂

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      • ‘hehehe’ – I guess we all sometimes have to draw a line – if we don’t, so I believe we get troubles – I have never seen it as a problem… 🙂

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          • I guess it’s the freedom and responsibility matter again – I hate hypocrisy as plague most of all if I suspect myself – I try seriously to have connection between what I say and what I do – and don’t think we should impose on others what we don’t compliance ourselves… 🙂

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  4. Paula I adore this post. Treating all humans with kindness and compassion definitely resonates with me. Your photos are beautiful and Cumil is fantastic!

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    • Ok, but tell me honestly: if you were a tourist in Bratislava, would you sit on Cumil’s head like so many other tourists do or you would treat him with respect? (knowing you, I bet on the latter :D) Happy you liked my photo essay, Sue 🙂

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      • Ãs you say: as humans we are all responsible for our actions. It is life in all its shapes, forms, feelings, losses, gains, happiness, sadness and other emotions.But sometimes I wonder if we are just a bit veneer over being animals.But then I look at beauty all around, a smile, a happy feeling, a spark. And there is so much power and creativity in that, encouragement to go on.

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  5. A very nice guided tour in a city – Bratislava – which was so far just a name I’m not sure I can even place on a map! Somewhere East! 🙂
    Bon week-end Paula
    Brian

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  6. I apologise, Paula – but my attention has been completely diverted from the rest of your post by the obscenity of that last bit about Falun Gong’s followers being used for organ harvesting.
    This is the first time I’ve even heard of it, and I can scarcely believe my eyes … I’m off to that link …

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    • Yes, that part is an unexpected twist. I was shocked too when I learned about it. People should be aware of such monstrosities. Thank you for your feedback M-R.

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  7. Pingback: 9-12-14 Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity – City Style | The Quotidian Hudson

    • 🙂 A less than common approach I agree :D. I do not take as many photos of living and breathing people as many other bloggers. I am happy you like it, Janet. Best to you…

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    • That’s mighty generous of you, Lisa 🙂 Bratislava is far away from your whereabouts and I am happy I could show it to you.

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    • Thank you for your appreciative comment Joseph. I believe it is your name. I am glad you stumbled on this post on your first visit. Greetings from Croatia. 🙂

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  11. Oh my, what a beautiful post. I was going to submit a photo of the exact same statue of a girl with a deer in Bratislava for this challenge and I still have it ready on my harddrive, but then decided to go for a different theme. Please check out my posts on Bratislava on my blog using the search box, if you like. 🙂
    Cheers!

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  12. Pingback: weekly photo challenge: humanity | Musings of a Random Mind

    • Thank you for your visit Tina. That sewer worker is the favourite of many tourists 🙂 Bratislava is a really charming town. I was happy for the opportunity to see it this summer even for just a day.

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    • Hello Lumar and thank you. They are all pretty special, and make the visit to Bratislava pretty special. So many wonderful examples on a short walk through the town centre.

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  13. This was such a lovely, entertaining and educational walk through Bratislava together with you, Paula – thank you for that!
    Looking at the sculptures, next to the admiration of art there were also thoughts about the way they are treated (abused) daily by humans. Somehow reminded me of Juliet’ s statue in Verona that had to be removed for this particular reason. After all the way we treat others is one of the features defining us as human beings, isn’ t in…

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  14. Such a strange nation China is, Paula! I was really enjoying our stroll until we arrived at yet another example of our inhumanity. I was pleased to escape it all for a little while in the Algarve. Loved your post. Napoleon is delightful! And that chap doffing his cap 🙂

    I just remembered about the flooding in Croatia, which I glimpsed briefly on the news, but have no idea where it is?

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    • Thank you, Jo. It hit both the north and south. My Mum in Dubrovnik is busy repairing the damage above the balcony. Two towns near Zagreb are under alert building additional dikes to stop flood waves coming from Slovenia. Thank you for taking a break. Always enjoying your company.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I love your city’s public art. Quite impressive.

    For the past 15 years, I have read quite a bit about the abuses of Falun Gong members in China. The horror stories of survivors are really difficult to comprehend without puking or getting so mad that you want to do something inhumane to put an end to the suffering. I fear that it will continue long before there is a true end to the tyranny.

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  16. A lovely series of statues celebrating the creative and the quirky in human nature. I’m impressed at the range and the scale – not monumental men on horses, but human-sized people, behaving in a range of human ways. And then the demonstration of absolute inhumanity as your punch line: organ harvesting is one of those awful abuses of human beings that leaves you speechless. It’s salutary to be reminded of our capabilities. A thoughtful post.

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      • You too. My day is nearly over: got my tax done, walked a beach, talked to my son until he was interrupted by rain and the need to rescue washing and kids – and, shamefully, nanny-napped for two hours! You never seem to sleep.

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        • I knew that it was late in your place. I could not sleep last night cause my camera died on me. Finally I slept for about two hours, woke up sick and asked for a day off my holidays from my employer 😦

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  17. Terrific post. I love all the sculptures around Bratislava. I have always admired the way European cities use sculpture in such a friendly easy way. It is beginning to work like that in London, but it’s taken a long time. Have you read Kazuo Ishiguro’s book, Never Let Me Go? If China is harvesting organs from healthy, live people, then this is no longer fiction.

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  18. Enjoying the lovely sights of Bratislava with you Paula where at least the Falun Gong have the freedom to protest on behalf of those being treated so far from humanely.

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  19. A really unexpected twist there at the end – I am appalled at the organ harvesting in Chinese prisons. What a brilliant entry to the theme, covering the whimsical and the worst sides of humanity in just one post.

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  20. WoW. what a fantastic city. Had always heard about it in movies, though not-on-a-great note. But your blog tells a different story. Thanks for sharing these super cool photos. One of the best posts for this week, i must say. Thanks once again for taking us for a trip.

    Do visit my photos as well. 🙂

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  21. I really enjoyed reading this post. I didn’t know much about Bratislava before, thanks for sharing some fascinating stories and great photos 🙂

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    • It’s very nice of you to have checked it out, Sas. I like taking photos of statues – they can stand out for people nicely 🙂 Thank you very much.

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