Wednesday, May 18, 2016

World rings in 2012 and bids adieu to a tough yr

SYDNEY (AP) — Glittering fireworks in the shapes of butterflies, hrts and a cascading waterfall exploded over Sydney's Harbour Bridge on Sunday as cheering revelers welcomed 2012 and bid a wry adieu to a yr marred by natural disasters and economic turmoil.
More than 1.5 million people crowded onto yachts and along the shores of the city's harbor to watch the shimmering pyrotechnic display designed around the theme "Time to Drm" — a nod to the gerness many felt in moving forward after the rough yr.
"It's about giving people the opportunity to drm of the yr ahd and that hopefully it is a bit better than the yr we've had," said Aneurin Coffey, producer of Sydney's New Yr's festivities.
Some of the fireworks formed the shape of clouds — "Because every cloud has a silver lining," Coffey said. Colorful lights bmed onto the center of the bridge formed an "endless rainbow" symbolizing hope.
Many were ger for a fresh start.
"I've had enough this yr," said 68-yr-old Sandra Cameron, who lost nrly everything she owned when her home in Australia's Queensland state was flooded to the ceiling during a cyclone in February. "It's gotta be a better yr next yr."
World lders evoked 2011's events in their New Yr's messages. U.N. Secretary-eral Ban Ki-moon, who starts his second term on New Yr's Day, said he wants to help ensure and sustain the moves toward democracy that protesters sought in the Arab Spring.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the new yr would be more difficult than 2011 but dling with Europe's debt crisis would bring its countries closer. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wished well being and prosperity to all Russians "regardless of their political persuasion" after large-scale protests against him.
The mood was festive in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa, where, for once, revelers were the first in the world to welcome the new yr, rather than the last.
Samoa and neighboring Tokelau hopped across the international date line at midnight on Thursday, skipping Friday and moving instantly to Saturday. The time-jump revelry that began at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 31 spilled into the night, with Samoans and tourists crowding around pools and on bches to toast the start of 2012.
Samoa and Tokelau lie nr the date line that zigzags vertically through the Pacific Ocn, and both sets of islands decided to rlign themselves this yr from the Americas side of the line to the Asia side, to be more in tune with trading partners.
"Everyone is happy right now," said Mao Visita, who was celebrating at the popular Aggie Grey's hotel in the capital, Apia. "The party is still going on with plenty of music."
Things were slightly more subdued in New Zland, where ial rains and thunderstorms canceled fireworks displays in the capital, Wellington, the North Island city of Palmerston North and at the popular Mount Maunganui bch ar. Aucklanders had better luck, with thousands crowding the city to watch fireworks erupt from the Sky Tower.
For Japan, 2011 was the yr the nation was struck by a giant tsunami and rthquake that left an entire coastline destroyed, nrly 20,000 people dd or missing and the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclr power plant in meltdown.
At the yr's end, many were reflecting on the fragility of life, while quietly determined to recover.
"For me, the biggest thing that defined this yr was the disaster in March," said Miku Sano, 28, a nursing student in Fukushima city. "Honestly, I didn't know what to say to these people, who had to fight sickness while living in fr about ever being able to go back home. The radiation levels in the city of Fukushima, where I live, are definitely not low, and we don't know how that is going to affect our hlth in the future."
People in Japan spent Saturday visiting shrines and temples, offering their first prayers for the yr. The giant hanging bells at temples were to ring 108 times to purify the world of evil and bring good luck.
University student Kouichi Takayama said 2011 was a yr he would never forget.
"It was a yr I felt the preciousness of life with a passion," he said. "But I was also able to ch a glimpse of the warmth of human relations, and reconfirm my gratitude for family, community and everyday life. I hope I can connect mningfully with more people next yr to crte a Japan that truly endures toward the future."
In the southern Philippine city of Cagayan de Oro, people were still coping with the aftermath of a tropical storm and flash flooding that killed more than 1,200.
For Ana Caneda, a disaster relief official in the badly hit city, the new yr "offers a new ray of hope."
"It's going to be a relief to write the date 2012, not 2011," Caneda said.
In Hong Kong, more than 400,000 people were expected to watch a 4-minute, $1 million display of fireworks shot from 10 skyscrapers, lighting up Victoria Harbour.
Raymond Lo, a master of feng shui — the Chinese art of arranging objects and choosing dates to improve luck — said he wasn't surprised that 2011 was such a tumultuous yr because it was associated with the natural elements of metal and wood. The yr's natural disasters were foreshadowed, Lo said, because wood — which represents trees and nature — was attacked by metal.
2012 could be better because it's associated with ocn water, which represents energy and drive and the washing away of old habits, Lo said.
"Big water also mns charity, erosity," Lo said. "Therefore that mns sharing. That mns maybe the big tycoons will share some of their wlth.
Source: The Associated PressPhoto Source: Admin

No comments:

Post a Comment