28 September 2005

Bruce Lee Bonds Bosnians

Bluce ReeImage by Canolais via FlickrTorn by civil war, Bosnia needs a symbol. A symbol of unity, of compassion, of bridge-building between distrustful ethnic communities. Only one man could possibly fit this demanding role.

Bruce Lee.

Yes, a life-size bronze statue of the kung-fu action hero will be erected in Spanish Square in central Mostar to remind residents of "loyalty, friendship, skill, and justice." Writer Veselin Gatalo, who came up with the statue proposal, says: "Lee is a true international hero and is a hero to all ethnicities in Bosnia and that's why we picked him."

While not without a touch of surrealism, there's something refreshing about the honesty of this choice - a popular entertainment figure rather than a politician or historic hero.

We in the Northwest also have a special affection for Bruce Lee (he lived in Seattle and majored in Philosophy at the University of Washington). One of his favorite philosophers was Krishnamurti, whose words echo meaning for Bosnians and everyone else: "To divide anything into what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life."

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