Relics from Pakistan's multicultural past
August 22nd, 2011
10:36 AM ET

Museum exhibit highlights Pakistan's Buddhist roots

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - A statue resembling the goddess Athena and jewelry bearing images from Greco-Roman mythology may not be objects you'd expect to see in a museum exhibit of Buddhist art from Pakistan.

Their presence among carvings of Buddha and Indian deities is meant to serve as a reminder of Pakistan's oft-forgotten multicultural roots, which form the basis of a new exhibit, "The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara."

The show, which runs until October 30 at New York's Asia Society, is the first to bring works of Gandharan art to the United States since 1960. The pieces, on loan from museums in Karachi and Lahore, highlight Pakistan's history as a crossroads of cultural influences, despite present-day associations of the country as an incubator of religious extremism, museum director Melissa Chiu said.

Read the full story on the exhibit showcasing Pakistan's Buddhist art
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Buddhism • Pakistan

soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Bo

    Yes, you are right, Naomi, there are too many countries that have, or almost have, closed doors to other religions, maybe in particular Christianty, I don't know. I don't know if other religions evangilize much. Right now China has the tightest laws on religious practices. I think China is athiesitic, along with Russia.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Naomi

      Bo, that's a little while ago. The most repressive regime is North Korea(atheism) and then Saudi Arabia(Islam). Most Islamic nations don't have religious freedom.

      August 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Naomi.. the North Koreans are repressive but not because they are atheists. Just because people do not believe in your god, does not make them any worse than you. The leader of North Korea is nothing more than a luny thug.. he would be the same no matter what he believes. Islam, as does Christianity has rules to abide and if you go out side them then you suffer the consequences, I agree that the Saudis are re4pressive,, so believe in a god is no guarantee of civility .Currently Islam is extremely repressive with detractors as was Christianity of old... Humans are Humans no matter what they believe.. we are no different no matter how hard you try to inject god into the mix.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Naomi

      @EvolvedDNA, you are wrong. Without the Biblical Christianity, the Planet Earth would have been in utter barbaric darkness. The North Korean regime and the Western atheists proved it. Westerners without Christianity are perverts.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  2. Bo

    I think you have chosen a very good subject to admire, although I don't know much about astronomy I love to look at the stars. A good friend of mine builds telescopes. I'm sorry Naomi that you can't view the stars very well, but I know exactly what you are talking about. I lived in LA County for many, many years and you could almost count the stars. But I love art too, especialy landscapes that the artist has captured the feel of the scene.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Naomi

      @Exactly. Nowadays the camera's capacity to capture the shapes and colors is so good not too many people paint. Art and science are much similar. Both try to capture a thrilling mystery.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Naomi is that you Adelina?

      August 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Naomi

      @EvolvedDNA, yes, it was one of my numerous user names. I started out as a Justina. My names get kept being hijacked by your friends.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  3. James73Bond7

    who cares what the curry munchers follow : hindooism, islam or buddism!

    August 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Ben

    Token Buddhist article.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  5. Naomi

    @Bo, you've got to have a overall picture. There are regional differences, but nations still need a lot of works for fairness. Thank God that Evangelical Christianity is explosive everywhere even in some parts of the West.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  6. Bo

    ==========@Noami===================== Are you talking about the religion or the countries? I don't know about Nepal, but my church works very freely in India. But, the Hindu religion is very strict, the Hindus are very opposed to their people converting to other religions. Do you remember Mother Terisa, (hope I spelled her name right) she did a lot of good work in India.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  7. Bo

    Well, Naomi, I do think that musems do have a lot of American displays, in fact so much that it is not usually thought of as something special. I love to go to musems and look at all the national history and art on display.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Naomi

      Bo, I don't like museums though I, too, paint. I don't think Earthlings are very good with painting or scluptures. They make hardly anything better than real humans. I like looking into the night skies. But I can't see stars where I live.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • J.W

      What is the difference between an Earthling and a human?

      August 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Naomi

      @JW, the same. I used the term "Earthling" because I think there are other ways to paint/portray humans than we know now.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  8. Bo

    ===========@x-x-x ========================= What do you see that is so filthy? Unfortunately I don't see any pictures. ===============================

    August 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • x-x-x

      I'm am thankful in general for what some may call filth and sm.ut, e.g. the beauty of the fem.ale body. In addition, I am thankful for the senses, and sensuality, to enjoy that beauty.

      In other words, Praise whomever/whatever is responsible for the beautiful woman and the sensuality of life!

      August 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  9. Naomi

    Won't Americans do this for their own nation? Featuring America's Christian roots.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  10. Bo

    I think Naomi may have come back on as X-X-X

    August 22, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • x-x-x

      Not in this case:

      Praise the god who gave us filth and sensuality!

      August 22, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |

      August 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  11. Bo

    Good mornig Tallulah, unfortunaley because I'm on a cell phone I do not get to see the pictues or other images that those on PCs get. Do you get artwork of the Hindu's and other religions of that area. I've never thought of Buddha art being beautiful–interesting, but not beautiful. Hindu art is very beautiful.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Naomi

      India and Nepal, the world's Hindu-majority nations, still don't have complete religious freedom.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Bo, the art is very graceful, comparable to the finest Greek statues of the Hellenistic age. I hope that you will be able to access a computer to see it, because it is worth seeing.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:31 am |
  12. Bo

    Where did you go Naomi? You started out so vigerously.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  13. tallulah13

    Very beautiful art.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  14. Bo

    Good morning folks! It was a interesting weekend on this blog site. Although many people think of Buddhisim as a religion it is not, more properly it is a philosophy in spite of all the immages connected it. If this is an exhibit of Buddhisim, it would be proper to wonder why a suatue of the Greek goddess of Athena, or any other religious artifacts would be there except maybe there isn't enough to exhibit about Buddha.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  15. Naomi

    Sense and Sensibility – the past West
    Sense and Sensuality – the present West

    August 22, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  16. Naomi

    Secular Westerners don't regard anything as religion since their filthy self with sensuality is their supreme god.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • x-x-x

      Praise the god who gave us filth and sensuality!

      August 22, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  17. Naomi

    Atheists did horrible things to Buddists in Asia as well.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • evolvedDNA

      Naomi.. And of course Christians never ever did anything to any one else.... you guys were the kings of slice and dice for many centuries. If god existed he would have put an end to religious insanity long before now.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Naomi

      @EvolvedDNA, of course Christians did everything good for everyone. You are writing English only because of the Christians.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  18. Bo

    Good morning folks! It was a interesting weekend on this blog site. Although many people think of Buddhisim as a religion it is not, more properly it is a philosophy in spite of all the immages coneced

    August 22, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  19. Naomi

    These Bhuddhist-majority nations – Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos and Bhutan(the worst) still need the freedom of conscience(religious freedom) enforced and practiced.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  20. Naomi

    Buddhism is as oppressive as Islam and the Western secularism. The air-headed history-ignorant secular Americans have no idea about it. Not everyone coverts to Christianity, but all Earthlings need Judeo-Christian values to be civil.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:51 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.