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Thursday, December 12, 2013

the selfie that shook the World - Helle Thorning Schmidt, Obama and Cameroon

Sure you would recognize her easily ? Are top leaders are human too….. 

The World is talking about it…. 

Certainly an event that attracted most leaders from all over the World… a funeral at that… decades ago, a State funeral was total mourning… National flag would be at half mast – there would be no entertainment …. TV and radio would play only sombre music ~ remember the sarangi vadan in DD….  Now the Q is : What do President Obama and a bunch of teenagers have in common?

The death of Nelson Mandela is mourned World over…. World leaders bowed and prayed Wednesday before the flag-draped casket containing the body of Nelson Mandela, having a final look at the anti-apartheid icon in the amphitheater where he was sworn in 19 years earlier as South Africa's first black president. Leaders like Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, South African President Jacob Zuma and others passed by the casket in two lines.

The Nelson Mandela eulogized to the world by President Barack Obama as "a giant of history" and the "last great liberator of the 20th century" seemed a different person from the one the United States held at arm's length, to put it diplomatically, for much of his life and career. Obama paid rich tributes in his speech. Tributes were also made by General Thanduxolo Mandela, and 'Madiba's' grandchildren Mbuso Mandela, Andile Mandela, Zozuko Dlamini and Phumla Mandela. Chinese vice-president Li Yuanchao, Brazilian president Dilma Roussef, Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba and Indian president Pranab Mukherjee also made speeches before a keynote address by South Africa's president Jacob Zuma and a sermon by Bishop Ivan Abrahams.   President Mukherjee is accompanied by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury and BSP leader Satish Mishra, reflecting the high-esteem Mandela held across the entire political spectrum in India.

Most of us are fond of photos ~ would admire thyself on a photo and happily pose for one… !! – most post their photos on  social network sites like Facebook, Instagram, Myspace and the like ~ and expect that friends and dear comment on that to their liking…..  the photo looks quite ordinary at first sight !!!! … A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone, and are usually taken in a slightly tilted manner. Selfies are often associated with social networking.  I had recently posted of the ‘sickly selfie’ of a woman taking a photo of self infront of Brooklyn bridge in the background of someone attempting suicide.

David Cameron has offered up an excuse for why he decided to take part in that photograph with Barack Obama and Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.  The prime minister told MPs : "When a member of the Kinnock family asked me for a photograph, I thought it was only polite to say yes." ~ and Obama is also being criticized for giving a beaming smile and being in that photo frame….the one taking photos is no ordinary person – a good looking one….and a Prime Minister – Ms Thorning-Schmidt, the Social Democrat leader of Denmark, married to Stephen Kinnock - the son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock – the one bad thing was of course the occasion……. !!!

Barack Obama was already in news – paid tribute to anti-apartheid icon, shook hands with Cuba's Raul Castro on his way to the podium in historic gesture of reconciliation and became infamous with this photo !!!  The Photographer who caught world leaders taking a 'selfie' says they were 'simply acting like human beings'

For the thousands of mourners inside Johannesburg's FNB Stadium it was meant to be a fitting tribute to a 'giant of history'. But while some reflected on the remarkable life of Nelson Mandela, some world leaders saw it as the perfect opportunity to grab a quick 'selfie' with their peers - prompting a backlash from web users accusing them of undermining the seriousness of the event. U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt grinned as they cosied up for a quick picture at yesterday's memorial service for the former South African president, prompting an outpouring of criticism. As the trio posed for the mobile phone snap, Obama's wife Michelle sat alongside her husband looking somewhat stony faced. Her mood didn't improve as Mr Obama and Ms Thorning-Schmidt talked through the order of service and shared a joke.

What do President Obama and a bunch of teenagers have in common?... It turns out they like to appear in selfies at memorial services. Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt appeared to hold out her smartphone for a three-way selfie at a service honoring Nelson Mandela today in Johannesburg. Obama, who sat to her left, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who sat to her right, leaned in close for the snap. The selfies at funeral trend was popularized thanks to a Tumblr site that had since shut down; however, the owner couldn't resist resurrecting it today for one more post.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt  is a Danish politician who has been the Prime Minister of Denmark since 3 October 2011 and the Leader of the Social Democrats since 12 April 2005. She is the first woman to hold either post. Thorning-Schmidt served as a Member of the European Parliament for Denmark from 1999 to 2004 before being elected to the Danish Parliament in 2005. Here she is seen with German chancellor – Angela Merkel… back home - Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under fire for missing Nelson Mandela's memorial in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Although dozens of world leaders made the trip, she stayed in Berlin.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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