The Vietnam Pavilion, entitled “Water and lotus flowers” was a source of curiosity, due especially to its decidedly theatrical architectural structure, which recreated a typical scene: that of a pond scattered with statues of animals and divinities from which enormous lotus pods emerged, just like in a forest. Dense vegetation was also present on the top of these conical flowers. The entire Pavilion was completely covered in bamboo canes.
The symbolism of the lotus flower
The lotus flower, a key element of the Pavilion, is very popular in Vietnam, where it is considered a symbol of purity. Known mainly for its beauty and used as an ornamental plant to decorate ponds, pools, lakes and apartments, the lotus is also 100% edible and extremely tasty. However, what makes it truly unique and special and gives it its charm and mystery is its extraordinary ability to purify the water in which it grows and therefore to also grow from the mud present in stagnant waters. This strong symbol of rebirth which distinguishes the Pavilion was designed to underline not only Vietnam’s commitment to actively protect the environment and its water resources but also its deep connection with and great respect for nature.
Inside the Pavilion, traditional shows
Inside the Pavilion, visitors could witness a captivating show every single day, including a concert of traditional folk music and a sacred ritual performed exclusively at Expo Milano 2015, which was designed to show visitors the popular culture of the Country. During the performance, visitors could admire typical Vietnamese costumes and the most characteristic and ancient traditional musical instruments, such as the dàn bâu, a one-chord instrument that produces a bewitching sound, the T’rung, similar to our xylophone made with bamboo canes and the extraordinary K’ni. The stage was positioned in the center of the exhibition area and was also visible from the balcony surrounding the floor above.
Craftsmanship and culinary culture
The first floor was dedicated to Vietnamese craftsmanship. There was a restaurant on the ground floor at the back of the Pavilion, where visitors could taste typical dishes such as the phở and sip traditional beverages, while learning more about the culinary culture of this Country full of traditions that respect their natural surroundings.