|The Nepal Pavilion and Peace Pagoda
National Day : September 19, 1988
Agreement to participate : 10 June 1986
Commissioner General - Mr Gauri Rimal
Pavilion : 171 square metres
The Nepalese representation at the Exposition was two-fold - the Nepal Pavilion - housing a colourful photographic exhibition of Nepalese people and culture, a selection of traditional brass and wooden ornaments and craftwork, as well as papier-mache umbrellas and masks that decorated the Pavilion walls and ceilings; and, perhaps one of the most memorable, and indeed, lasting structures of Expo - the three-tiered wooden replica of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu - known at the Expo site - and today - as the Nepal Peace Pagoda.
A unique work of art at the Expo without comparsion - in its architecture and construction - the Nepal Peace Pagoda was entirely handcrafted in Nepal of cut and felled Terai Forest timber from the southern jungles of Nepal - over two years of meticulous work by over 160 Nepalese village families - and was shipped to Brisbane for Expo, where it stood proudly near the Expo's Southern Gates, with its beckoning stairwell lined with its guardian pair of stone lions and elephants, leading to the Pagoda's impressive forecourt, and its two side Pavilions; the Peace Bell at the Pagoda's entrance right; and 2-metre high stone stupa - a square-based (representing the earth) and dome-top (representing the heavens) memorial stone at the Pagoda's exit right - a device celebrating the life of the Buddha and the Noble Eight-Fold Path - traditionally used to house relics of the Buddha. On the inside of the Pagoda visitors could view a statue of the Buddha in meditation, and walking up the internal wooden stairwell, one was greeted with a traditional Nepalese Tea House, resplendent with statue of everlasting compassion - the Lokewesaar Goddess.
A finite commission for World Expo '88, at the end of the Expo the Pagoda had to find a new home - and was eagerly sought by several international bidders - including the Japan 1990 International Garden Expo, as well as a dedicated group of believers who joined together to work to keep the Pagoda in Brisbane, and formed the 'Save the Pagoda Committee Fund', which worked as a liaision office for all matters regarding keeping the Pagoda for Brisbane, and, which, luckily, at the last moment, with the successful concluding donation given by a pair of Brisbane philanthropists, saved the Pagoda for the City of Brisbane as a permanent souvenir of the Expo - for now everyone to enjoy and savour. As a result, with the opening of South Bank Parklands in 1992 at the Expo site after the conclusion of Expo, the Pagoda was moved to its new site where it still is today - at the riverside Clem Jones Boulevard northern entrance of the Parklands - where it stands guard facing the Brisbane River, a silent sentinel of Peace - of World Expo '88 - and of a harmonious relationship between the two predominant religious themes of the Nepalese Pagoda - of both Hindu and Buddhist elements - hence, its descriptive title - the Nepal Peace Pagoda.
A site of calm reflection, the Nepal Peace Pagoda is one of the only Expo participant-made structures at South Bank - the former Expo site - and now joins with the Expo symbol tower 'Night Companion' (or the Stefan Sky Needle as it is now called - now at Stefan Hairdressing H.Q. in South Brisbane), and the Japanese Pond & Garden, from the Japan Pavilion at Expo - now re-located at Brisbane City's Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens - as one of the most outstanding collections by the City of Brisbane from the hosting of Expo.
With the soon approach of World Expo 88's 20th Anniversary in 2008, it is hoped that the Pagoda will play a central role in commemorating the good will of World Expo '88 - and to this purpose, as an initiative of Foundation Expo '88, a new historical, social, and administrative association for the Pagoda's - as well as World Expo '88's memory - 'The Friends of the Pagoda Association' - working on the foundation established by the The Association to Preserve Asian Culture, the Save the Pagoda Committee Fund, and Friends of the Pagoda - in creating, keeping, and celebrating the Pagoda, has been launched - to learn how to do more to celebrate and disseminate the Pagoda's - and World Expo '88's - rich cultural heritage - here in Brisbane City, and at the Pagoda itself.
The first stage of the program is 'Pagoda on Sundays', where every Sunday between 10.00a.m. and 2.00p.m., a mini-commemorative display of World Expo '88 memorabilia features at the Pagoda, and Association Member volunteers work at the Pagoda itself as Attendant Guides, and work towards promotion of the Association, and the creation of the World Expo '88 Museum at the Pagoda's Second and Third Levels. Fundraising for the Museum - and for Nepalese Charities - shall also take a part - with an expanded 'Pagoda on Sundays' program to include serving of traditional Nepalese teas and sweets at the Pagoda Forecourt 'Pagoda Place', and, use of the forecourt, Pagoda, and its bamboo backdrop as the dramatic venue for a celebration of Australia and Asia in the performing arts - which we hope during Cathedrals' Week 2007 to feature special concerts in traditional Asian court music - all in the lead-up to the 20th Anniversary where the Pagoda Place Forecourt becomes the venue for on-the-hour every hour entertainment from the 36 nations at Expo.
Read more about the 20th Anniversary program for World Expo '88 at the Foundation Expo '88 20th Anniversary Celebration page, http://www.celebrate88.com/20th/
Learn about The Friends of the Pagoda Association and how to become a Member, as well as the World Expo '88 Museum, at http://www.celebrate88.com/friendsofthepagoda/ - The Friends of the Pagoda Association pages at Foundation Expo '88.
View the Nepalese Peace Pagoda in it's new South Bank Parklands location