Refugee wrote:Also thanks to Kenshou. I did some search following your comment and found that the conquests of Alexander the Great could have resulted in Hellenistic (Greek) culture being fused with Indian culture including Buddhism. This could have influenced the Buddhist icongraphy to some extent.
It's more than 'could have', Refugee. My knowledge is hazy because I've forgotten a lot of what I once knew about it, but IIRC the first Buddha statues were made in the Gandhara area (roughly between modern Pakistan and Iran), under the influence of Greek culture. The very *idea* of god-statues was Greek and overcame the expressed wishes of the Buddha who asked that no statues representing him be made, so it's no surprise that their *style* was also Greek.
Before those first statues, the Buddha and dhamma were represented more symbolically, e.g. the wheel.
Kenshou, please do provide more detail and correct me where I'm wrong.
If you google 'Buddha statue [country]' and replace [country] with Thailand, Japan, China, etc in turn, you will quickly get a lot of pictures. It does seem that the hairstyle is consistent right across Asia, in spite of the fact that the curly locks are so un-Asian. Tradition roolz, OK.