Ancient Asian culture on show at Hanoi exhibition

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An exhibition showcasing ancient relics from Asian countries including Vietnam opened in Hanoi on Tuesday, local news website Vietnamnet reported.


The exhibition gathers together more than 50 relics from India, China, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Taiwan and Vietnam.


Among them are a Vietnamese bronze drum dating back 2,000-2,500 years, pottery pots 4,000-5,000 years old from China, an eleventh century Ganges Goddess relief from India, and a bronze Buddha statue made in the 17th century in Thailand.


The event, which began on International Museum Day, aims to explore Asia's ancient culture and raise the profile of the Vietnam History Museum which houses the display.


Some of the relics are about science and technology but most recall the spiritual life of Asian ancestors, which was diverse with several religions in each country.


Relics from Cambodia illustrate the history of Buddhism, Hinduism and other popular beliefs like the worship of ancestors and nature.


Nguyen Lan Cuong, deputy general secretary of Vietnam Archaeology Association, said the exhibition was put together to show how cultures in the region have impacted upon one another and how all have changed and adapted.


Dau Pagoda in Hanoi has bricks carved with the image of Garuda, the large mythical bird ridden by Vishnu, a Hindu god called the Preserver and second member of the triad that includes Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer, Cuong cited as an example.


"From this, we can see that Indian culture has affected Vietnam." he was quoted as saying by Vietnamnet Tuesday.


The relics will be on display every day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the museum, No.1 Pham Ngu Lao Street. They will then be brought to Guangxi, China for the ASEAN + 1 Summit in October.

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