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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 16 May 2004

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Buddha's sacred tooth relics arrive for Buddhist Exhibition

Sacred tooth relics of the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni Buddha, have arrived in Singapore from Myanmar.

The tooth relics, believed to be similar to the famous Buddha’s Tooth Relic in Kandy, Sri Lanka will be showcased in an extensive Buddhist art and culture exhibition entitled, Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic & 500 Arhat Exhibition at The Singapore Expo (Halls 2, 3, 4 and 5) from 19th to 23rd of May 2004.

Organised by the venerable monk, Shi Fazhao, abbot of Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple, the exhibition is the second one in two years.

“The first exhibition two years ago at Suntec City was a resounding success. And we were taken by surprise that more than 300,000 people turned up for the three-day event,” says Ven. Shi Fazhao.

Apart from showcasing the rare sacred tooth relics at the exhibition, the temple is also putting on display more than 300 ancient Buddhist statues and imageries pooled from both GPBT’s and its devotee’s private collection in Hall 4 of The Singapore Expo.

Other highlights of the exhibition include:

(i) A Buddhist Tourism Fair in Hall 5 to promote Buddhist pilgrimages in Asia;

(ii) A Blessings Hall (Hall 3) where visitors can witness the making of a 23-metre by 23-metre Sand Mandala (the largest in the world) by Vajrayana lamas and

(iii) A Vegetarian Food Fair featuring an assortment of vegetarian delights from over 50 vegetarian stalls. Buddhist cultural performances from all three traditions of Buddhism—Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana—will be staged at the event to keep visitors entertained.

“The aim of the exhibition is to showcase the history of Buddhism, its origin, spread and influence in Asia and South-east Asian countries and the whole world.

“I feel it’s timely that we have a cultural event of this nature, in order to be part of a bigger effort to help foster greater understanding and tolerance among the different cultures in Singapore,’’ said Ven. Shi Fazhao.

The exhibition at The Singapore Expo has been endorsed by Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

About 600,000 local and foreign visitors are expected to visit the five-day exhibition which is open to the public free of charge.

The Buddha’s Sacred Tooth Relic is the most revered Buddhist item in Myanmar and amongst Buddhist devotees around the world.

Most exhibits that will be on display are from the Asian region: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Content Contributor: Vaidurya Media House

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Public Holidays VESAK DAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 2 June 2004.