Pakistan: A Pure and Sacred Land
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is an important country along the Belt and Road. Situated in South Asia, it is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the south, India to the east, China to the northeast, Afghanistan to the northwest and Iran to the west.
For its second appearance at the “Colourful World” event, Pakistan took a different approach to displaying its exhibits this year. It showcased carved jade ornaments in the shapes of grapes, apples and ducks, as well as traditional jade rings and bottles. Staff from the Pakistan Embassy in China conveyed their love of these jade carvings by introducing them to visitors in Chinese.
One staff member explained: “These Pakistani jade carvings are made of carbonate, which is a kind of metamorphic rock, instead of silicate which is traditionally regarded as the composite element of jade. However, locals still use carbonate to make various kinds of jade carvings to beautify their life.” Like Chinese jade carvers, their counterparts in Pakistan can skilfully turn a minor defect into a unique mark in a jade piece. In fact, it is often the unfortunate imperfections that distinguish jade works from others.
Making jade boxes, bottles and containers requires a lot of time and concentration. Visitors to the Pakistan booth all highly praised the dazzling jade exhibits, some of which were for sale. These items had been specially prepared by the embassy for those visitors who wanted to take Pakistani jadeware home.
Pakistan boasts abundant tourist resources, diverse natural scenery and a 900-km-long coastline. People are fascinated by the history and culture of this nation. As the cradle of the Indus Valley Civilisation— one of the oldest civilisations in the world— it is home to numerous important historical sites. Of these sites, the Fort and Shalamar Gardens of Lahore are reputed as two masterpieces from the time of the brilliant Mughal civilisation, which reached its height during the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan. Both sites were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981. Located in the ancient city of Lahore in the east of Pakistan, Lahore Fort is constructed from large reddish-brown rocks. Various buildings, fountains, ponds and gardens are interspersed throughout its grounds. Constructed in 1642, the Shalamar Gardens boast views of natural sceneries along with elegant buildings. Built by the Mughal royal family primarily as a venue for them to entertain guests, the Shalamar Gardens are one of only a handful of Islamic-style gardens anywhere in the world.
Pakistan was also the origin of Islamic and Buddhist cultures. A branch of Buddhism was introduced into Mainland China through Afghanistan and Central Asia, and was later introduced into Sri Lanka and India via Southeast Asia. This “India” refers to the ancient India which included the territory of present- day Pakistan. Taxila (a town in eastern Pakistan) is to Buddhism what the Taj Mahal to Islam.
Several small mountainous towns in Pakistan are well known for their ancient rock paintings. Starting from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, and driving 420 km north alongside the Indus River, visitors can enjoy the unadorned rock paintings left on the surface of the smooth black rocks on either side of the Indus by the ancestors of local people. These paintings are still silently waiting to be visited. Like an open-air museum, they tell visitors the long history of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
During the third “Colourful World” event, many visitors stopped to admire the large pictures hanging in the Pakistan exhibition area, attracted by the country's spectacular cultural heritage sites and natural sceneries.
The Colourful World event allowed Pakistan to promote itself to much larger audiences. It will continue to participate in similar events in the future, so as to let even more people from all over the world learn about their wonderful country.