An episode of the popular Korean-American 3D animated television series “Super Wings” recently showcased Laos’ most iconic historical landmark, providing its viewers with a captivating virtual journey to the country.
The episode of Super Wings depicted Vientiane’s majestic That Luang stupa, a 3rd-century Buddhist monument covered in gold and house to the Buddha’s breastbone – according to some beliefs.
In an attempt to capture the essence of real-life in the Lao capital, the cartoon portrayed the stupa’s surroundings and several characters dressed in traditional Lao clothing. A detail that added an extra layer of cultural authenticity and richness to the episode.
At the heart of the episode’s storyline was the Super Wings squad, a group of high-tech and adventurous jet plane superheroes, who came to the aid of Niphavanh in her quest to complete a wish-granting ritual.
As Niphavanh sought the squad’s assistance in replenishing a flower basket that she accidentally dropped, the squad embarked in an adventure battling against the main villains, Golden Boy and Golden Wheels, who attempted to steal the stupa and take it into outer space.
The girl’s request for a flower basket played a vital role in the traditional Lao ritual called “Vien Tian.” This practice involves carrying a basket filled with traditional orange flowers –Tagetes erecta – and circling the stupa three times. It is believed that performing this ritual will ensure the fulfillment of one’s wishes.
Traditionally, this ceremony takes place annually in Vientiane around November, and is a way for locals to pay homage to the sacred That Luang stupa.