Dubai: Peru is home to the oldest known civilisation in the Americas, the Norte Chico metropolis, and 12 World Heritage Sites across the Andes plains. Tracing 10,000 years of ancient civilisation through traditions wrought in weaving and Peruvian superfoods such as quinoa, the 1,860-square-metre pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai narrates the nation's enduring past under the theme of ‘Timeless, Always Peru’.
A tribute to Kuelap
Soft curved lines of the pavilion facade resemble the curly figure of the letter ‘p’ in the country’s tourism brand logo. The spiral shape is an evocation of time; a journey into the past and events that shape today’s Peru. One such evocation is the pre-Inca walled settlement of Kuelap in the Amazonian region of the South American country – the imposing wall of the facade recalling the 19-metre walls of the stone fortress.
The brainchild of architects at Lima-based Habitare, the Peruvian pavilion design holds connectivity at its heart. Weaving is the architectural focal point of the cultural elements colouring the exterior as well as the interior – a traditional practice often seen in Paracas looms and Peruvian reed boats.
A walk on an Incan bridge
The entrance to the Peru Pavilion reflects yet another symbolic relic of the past: visitors will tread on the replica of the ancient Incan bridge of Q’eswachaka.
A testament to the engineering feat of the Incans, the grass-woven suspension bridge is rebuilt as part of an annual ritual to strengthen social ties between the four communities of Huinchiri, Chaupibanda, Choccayhua and Ccollana Quehue in Cusco.
Peruvian superfoods, coffee and crafts
Production processes of Peru’s highly sought-after exports will be put on display as part of the pavilion exhibition. From showcasing wooden handicrafts, decorative items and alpaca fibre products, Peru will highlight its ancient superfoods quinoa and cocoa for the sake of future sustainability.
A staple crop in the diet of the Incans, quinoa was domesticated in the high Andean regions of South America becoming a superfood for its high nutritional value. Compared to rice, the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation of Peru states that quinoa requires far less water to grow, hence making it an ideal crop for the world’s ever-growing population.
The pavilion will hold a dedicated space for potential meetings with investors interested in Peruvian unalloyed zinc, grapes, quinoa, prawn tails, pomegranate and coffee.
- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.