The 137th Country to have agreed to participate in the Universal Exposition, Turkmenistan succeeded in creating a Pavilion full of charm in record time. The structure exerted its striking effect on visitors as soon as they enter, they were greeted by an enormous digital rug created using millions of LED lights and a fountain on which the image of a horse was projected, reminding them that water is life, as the theme of the Pavilion told. Three enormous rugs that were hand-made especially for Expo Milano 2015 hung in the central part of the Pavilion, which was dominated by a LED globe. The rugs took a month to make and were produced fully in line with tradition. The design on the largest one was a tribute to the work of the great Oghuz Khagan, legendary founder of the Turkmen language, spoken also in Turkey and Uzbekistan.
The symbol of the Turkmen hero was surrounded by other ideograms that commemorate his children and grandchildren, surrounded in turn by the emblems of the five regions of Uzbekistan. Twin rugs representing the past and the future hung on the opposite wall. The same decorative patterns were present on the small rugs all around the perimeter and these recalled the mosaic outside the Pavilion.
Horses, jewels, cotton and melons: four great elements of which the Country is proud
The outer walls bear displayed cases with traditional products, formal dresses and hats (Turkmenistan is a great cotton producer). One display case was dedicated to images of horses: indeed the country boasts the most ancient breed in the world, still ridden by the nomadic populations: the famous ahalteke. They are often represented in gold because their fair mane is so shiny that it resembles a golden fabric. After these there was a display of handmade jewels, some of them modern and others brought from the national Museum of Turkmenistan. In ancient times, one could tell everything about a person from their jewels: their social status, marital status, number of children, etc. Finally, a panel at the end of the room reminded us that Turkmenistan has applied to host the International Exposition in 2022.
On the ground floor there was also a restaurant, which offered various typical dishes, including ayran (a drink made with water, salt and yoghurt), many soups and salads and the famous melon known worldwide and named “waharman”: this is one of the Country’s most popular exports.
On the first floor, an exciting 5D cinema
The five symbols of the five regions were projected along the walls that lead to the first floor. This room was characterized by the color white: indeed this is where the capital city Ashgabat was presented, the so-called ‘white city’. One display case recalled the tea and herbal infusion ceremony, which also have medicinal powers according to the Turkmens. There was a cinema on this floor and from 12:00 pm onwards, throughout the afternoon it showed a 5D video capable of “bodily” transporting spectators to the distant country of Turkmenistan.
On the terrace, an original yurta
The top floor led out to the panoramic terrace, a truly charming spot dominated by the winter Yurta, the typical nomad’s tent which is assembled in less than two hours and dismantled in half an hour. Here the floor was made of white marble but normally the bottom of the yurta is covered with rugs, while several canvases separated the various environments. The terrace was surrounded by flowerbeds blooming with daisies and white roses and it was decorated by another circular rug, again made especially for Expo Milano 2015.
Discover the Turkmenistan Pavilion in the Expo Milano 2015 archive