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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