In summer 2023, the German Consulate Bengaluru launched a Buddy Bear design contest.
The winner of the competition was Samyukta Shanmugam, art and design student at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru. She painted the bear with symbols of the cultural links between the South Indian states Karnataka and Kerala, and Germany.
The golden cuffs on the bear's arms are inspired by temple paintings from Karnataka and the rest of the bear represents Onam, the harvest festival in Kerala. The leaves on the bear's head are banana leaves from Kerala and leaves of the German oak, the national tree of Germany. The German harvest festival is depicted on the back of the bear. The necklace worn by the bear is inspired by the Thanksgiving wreath. On the front of the necklace is the flower of Kerala, Cassia fistula, and the necklace on the back contains peonies, a regional flower in Germany. Hands of all colours clasp together, showing the peaceful cultural exchange of people from all over the world.
The Consulate named the buddy bear 'Namma Bhaloo'.