Asia weaves its magic at Global Village

DUBAI - Asia - the land of rich tradition and colour - represented in its many-splendoured hues, has laid out a rich tableau at the Global Village. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are attracting huge crowds eager to understand and appreciate the cultural heritage of these exotic destinations.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 8 Feb 2003, 2:25 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:24 PM

The Indian pavilion has adopted Rajasthan, one of its most colourful states, as the main theme of this year's pavilion. A life-size replica of the Ganesh Pole of the Amer Palace, which revives the art of Arayish i.e. painting in stone colours, greets visitors at the entrance, which also has a special stage where traditional Rajasthani drummers and stilt walkers welcome one and all. The inside of the pavilion is a fusion of earthy and bright colours that form the rich tapestry of Rajasthan.

From lac bangles to bedspreads, gemstone jewellery and a profusion of traditional clothes and other knick knacks make up the various stalls in the pavilion. A big crowd-puller is the replica of the Palace on Wheels - one of the top ten luxurious trains in the world, that treats visitors royally as they take a trip through the once princely states of India. Every night, performers from India and school children living in Dubai perform at the specially-erected stage which has the backdrop of the Hawa Mahal (Palace in the air), one of the well-known tourist spots in India.

Visuals depicting the various popular sports and historical monuments of Pakistan greet visitors at this pavilion. Inside is a replica of a well-known monument Minar-e-Pakistan, which was built to commemorate a significant period of the country's freedom struggle - the March 23, 1940 Resolution.

Fabric in every shade and hue, with delicate embroidery and designs, is a major attraction at the stall as is the finely carved wooden handicrafts, which are a big hit among home decor enthusiasts. Artwork in stone, intricately designed footwear, and popular Pakistani food delicacies - all form a part of this interesting pavilion. One of the new attractions at the village is a stall selling exquisite silver jewellery.

Textiles and wooden artefacts are the biggest draw at the festival. The pavilion has also conducted a special musical concert as part of its Global Village activities on February 4. A stage within the pavilion also has performers during the weekends.

Sri Lanka has put up a colourful pavilion at the village. Quality products from the country are on sale. These include handicrafts, leather products, gems and jewellery, readymade garments, footwear, fresh fruits, canned foodstuffs and ceramic products. Sri Lankan tea which has captured the hearts of many, is on sale, and visitors can also buy a cup of freshly prepared beverage at the stall, besides freshly-cut mangoes and pinepapples.

Visitors can also visit a mini-supermarket within the pavilion to buy all their essentials straight from the home country. The live demonstration of traditional ways of gem-cutting by a veteran craftsman is also a big draw.

Bangladesh, a country of rivers, has used its traditional profession - fishing - as the backdrop of the pavilion. Bangladeshi sarees in their rich weaves and traditional prints are a big draw is this pavilion as are the leather jackets and competitively-priced leather goods.

Also at this pavilion are ceramics, and most interesting of all is the tasty snack known in the subcontinent as 'chana chor garam', a mixture of spice and tangy flavours suitable for those who like to have something to munch on as they discover the many delights of the village.

The Global Village - which is a true confluence of world cultures - effortlessly integrates the magic of Asia and its exotic traditions into its colourful tapestry.

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