Published Mar 21, 2017 09:39am

This Korean documentary on Gandhara civilisation will show the 'tolerant face' of Pakistan

A two-member Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) team filmed various Buddhist sites of Gandhara civilization, which they will air on South Korean official television .

Lee Heon and Miss Hong, Eun Hee, producers of the KBS, are visiting the ancient sites on the invitation of Dr Esther Park, General Secretary, Gandhara Art and Culture Association (GACA).

Before coming to Taxila the KBS team also visited Lahore, Peshawar, Swabi, Swat and Gilgit and filmed various Buddhist sites.

“I have visited Sri Lanka, Thailand, China and Armenia to record various cultural sites but the potential and cultural diversity Pakistan harbours is unique and significant,” said Miss Hong while talking to Dawn.

“What has really captured me about Pakistan is the kindness of the people here; really they are generous and hospitable,” she added.

Replying to a query, she said it was her first visit to Pakistan and like other foreign media persons she had some misconception about Pakistan but after visiting various cities, she found it an enlightened and diverse country. “Through her documentary she will now show peaceful, tolerant and hospitable face of Pakistan to the world especially to Buddhists across the globe,” she added.

Monk Maranantha, credited for spreading Buddhist teachings across the Korean peninsula in the late 4th century AD, was originally from Chota Lahore in district Swabi, therefore Buddhist followers of Korea have deep-rooted spiritual and religious attachment with Pakistan and this documentary would further strengthen relations between the two countries.

Producer Lee Heon while talking to this reporter said that it was his 13th visit to Pakistan and every time he discovered a ‘new Pakistan’.

He said earlier his documentary about various cities of Pakistan especially northern areas with the title “Beautiful Pakistan” was widely acclaimed by viewers in Korea.

Mr Lee, while answering a question, said that Monk Maranantha, credited for spreading Buddhist teachings across the Korean peninsula in the late 4th century AD, was originally from Chota Lahore in district Swabi, therefore Buddhist followers of Korea have deep-rooted spiritual and religious attachment with Pakistan and the documentary would further strengthen relations between the two countries.

Talking to this reporter Dr Esther Park said that Gandhara Art and Culture Association would organise an exhibition of Gandhara artifacts and sculptures in Korea in June.

She claimed that most of the Pakistanis might not be aware of the fact that South Koreans trace the roots of their Buddhist heritage to centers of Gandhara civilization located in Pakistan.

She said that through the exhibition the rich Buddhist archaeological treasure of Pakistan would be displayed in Korea.

Originally published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017


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Comments (26) Closed

Ibrahim Mar 21, 2017 10:29am

The name of Monk Marananantha could be mix Amar and anantha. The one doesn't die and has no end... These personalities have no connection with the present dispensation of religion and culture. Therefore they could be described more from the ancient Indian civilisation rather than geopolitical present name of Pakistan. Unfortunately the Koreans remember him with respect and reverence... But in Pakistan difficult to track down the records of his existence. However its Pakistan's tradition to permit study the cultural traces of the ancient times.

salma Mar 21, 2017 11:20am

Welcome to Pakistan. Please come again. Pakistan Zindabad...

M. Emad Mar 21, 2017 11:25am

'Tolerant face' of Pakistan !!

Muhammad ali baig Mar 21, 2017 12:05pm

Thanks for showing the real Pakistan - friendly & open

Mahesh Mar 21, 2017 12:34pm

How many of Pakistanis actually know about the history of the region?

Yourstruly Mar 21, 2017 12:55pm

Thanks for reminding of our roots and ancestry.

gary Mar 21, 2017 01:21pm

We have Sethi people on both sides of the border, so are Bajwa, and many others.

Shan Mar 21, 2017 01:53pm

Living in South Korea, I am witnessed that Korean view Pakistan with different face. Thanks to Korean and KBS.

Asif A Shah Mar 21, 2017 02:19pm

The Pakistanies should visit these historical sites and learn where they were once and where they are now,

Dia Mar 21, 2017 02:23pm

That's some truth.

Sat Mar 21, 2017 02:55pm

Show this documentary in Pakistan also. They also need a little lesson in their history. They need to know more about Gandhara civilization.

Khwarizmi Mar 21, 2017 04:08pm

Had I been in the government or owned Bahria-brand then I would have created a "Gandharan" city in Swabi/ Chota Lahore for Korean religious turists with hotels, malls, entertainment and religious sites.

Khwarizmi Mar 21, 2017 04:10pm

@Mahesh Quite many...from school, media, historic sites...even history depicted on our bank notes.

Maxx Mar 21, 2017 04:15pm

This is actually the real face of Pakistan with all the perceived, distorted and doctored international media perception. Local media need to break that wrong stereotypes...

Intl' media gets its news also from local media and splashes it all over the world. This is the reason local media should give a positive image of Pakistan...which they are giving rarely.

Simba Mar 21, 2017 04:24pm

lets honestly answer, are there any traces of Buddhism remaining in the country? how many ancient buddhist relics have been found intact?

Maxx Mar 21, 2017 04:31pm

@Khwarizmi Exactly, Pakistan need to cash in, on its extra rich religious, heritage and cultural sites. Religious tourism is the buzz word today and not only it can help millions/billions of FDI, it can make a sea change in the image perception of the country, it is like a force multiplier, more tourists will follow with initial small numbers.

Gandhara trails Mar 21, 2017 04:35pm

Welcome to the Kingdom of Gandhara

kshitiz Singh Mar 21, 2017 05:14pm

Indus valley was always a peaceful and a tolerant region. Look as ancient history, this region was a melting point of multiple civilization

Bupi Mar 21, 2017 06:57pm

One has to respect ones past then only they get respect.

Bupi Mar 21, 2017 06:59pm

@M. Emad Fro. 14% to .14 -% is this tolerance?

Zak Mar 21, 2017 08:42pm

@Mahesh is that of any concern to you.

Zak Mar 21, 2017 08:44pm

@Bupi that's what misinformation you are taught in your schools. Learn from us and the Koreans about tolerance, appreciation and most of all-truth.

flipflop Mar 22, 2017 01:09am

@Mahesh well I know quite alot about our rich heritage, however; it is sad that they do not teach such things at schools. I have been saying this for the longest time that Pakistan seriously needs to revamp their education system

schali Mar 22, 2017 03:31am

@kshitiz Singh Yes, pot is now just a point.

R S Chakravarti Mar 22, 2017 07:55am

@Ibrahim Why is it unfortunate that the Koreans remember him with respect and reverence?

krish Mar 22, 2017 02:58pm

It augers well for the future that Pakistan.