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The Independent writes about it:
http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=71428

The MOTHER OF FRIENDSHIP    donated by the Austrian Embassy  to the Garden of Serenity in Santa Lucija

“The Mother of Friendship” stands for the friendship between different cultures; a twinning of two towns with their own individuality: Santa Lucija and Jin Chang.

The sculpture consists of two media: limestone and ceramic, each symbolizes the heritage of the two countries. The warm yellow, sandy stone represents Malta and its heritage
and the ceramic represents China , where ceramic history goes back over 6000 years.

The sculpture depicts a woman, a mother. Mothers are known for their unconditional love, patience, trust, tolerance and understanding- the basis for any good friendship.
Only these virtues let us learn from each other and allow us to grow.

“The Mother of Friendship” is carrying a dragon from head to leg.  A strong Chinese mythological symbol dating back to 3000 BC; the dragon stands for happiness,
immortality, procreation, fertility and activity. Dragons were believed to ward off evil spirits. In all Chinese cities you’ll see dragons decorating ancient monuments and buildings,
sometimes playing with a pearl or thunder-ball.

She also has chopsticks in her hair. It is believed the first chopsticks were developed over 5000 years ago in China . Early Asian man would retrieve his food from the fire using
sticks or branches broken from trees. Later, as the population grew and resources became scarce, people would cut food into smaller pieces to save fuel because the smaller
portions cooked faster. This eliminated the need for knives, and chopsticks became the utensil of choice.
When the chopsticks began to wear down, Asians ingeniously   
created new uses for them such as hair bun fixers.

The main point is that Asians do not only see the chopstick as a utensil. Paired together, chopsticks create harmony. They are Yin and Yang, once again a virtue of friendship
and partnership.

The choice of the contrasting colours used in the art work remind us of the different cultures of Malta and China, but also Austria who sponsored this project, and any country
which may involve itself in the future.  Again we can see the symbols of Yin and Yang, the necessity of polarity.  Friendship means the acceptance and recognition of differences.

In the floor tiles surrounding the “Mother of Friendship” you find embossed the protective Chinese Dragon and the Maltese Spiral.  The Maltese Spiral translates into meanings
of spirituality and rebirth. In terms of rebirth or growth, the spiral symbol represents the consciousness of nature beginning from the core or centre and thus expanding outwardly.

The tiles also introduce the colour red to the whole monument. In Chinese mythology the colour red stands for happiness, good luck and prosperity.
Red is also the dominant colour in the Maltese, Chinese and Austrian flag.                                                                                                                   

Hermine Anna Sammut

 


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