I am delighted to be in Beijing today for the inaugural function of the Dance Festival as part of the Festival of India in China. India and China share warm and friendly relations based on historical and cultural linkages over centuries. Over the years, both our countries worked together closely in a spirit of trust and confidence. Bilateral relations between our two countries have been strengthened through multifaceted cooperation and high level visits from both sides. India considers China as an indispensable partner in our bilateral relations.
2. Pursuant to the mutual understanding reached during the visit of the Chinese Premier in May 2013 and that of Prime Minister OF India to China in October 2013, the year 2014 was designated as the India-China Year of Friendly Exchanges.
3. As part of the Year of Friendly Exchanges, the Embassy of India in Beijing, along with the Consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, are organizing the Glimpses of India Festival in 12 cities in China. The Festival, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India, is being organized in collaboration with Chinese partner institutions. The events planned cover Indian performing arts, exhibitions of modern Indian art, visual and photographic exhibitions on Buddhist heritage of India and its links with China, food festivals, film festivals, as well as events involving eminent Indian and Chinese scholars and writers. Business and tourism promotion events will also constitute key components of the Festival. 3.
3. China and India have signed several agreements over the past few years. These agreements lay down the essential framework for bilateral cooperation in various sectors. The cultural cooperation between our two countries is institutionalised through a Cultural Exchange Programme signed in 2013.
4. We are very happy to be in China to participate in the Festival of India. An ancient civilisation and a young nation at once, modern India is a thriving democracy, an economic powerhouse, an increasingly assertive global political player and a world leader in science and technology. At the same time, she remains rooted in tradition – her art, culture and literature continue to enrich her mind, body and soul, as also of the rest of humanity. India continues to mesmerise and surprise the rest of the world as much as she enchants and bewilders her own people.
5. The Festival of India seeks to show case the rich and composite culture of India. I am pleased to share with you the following six events that have been consciously designed keeping your interests in mind:
- Dance Festival
- Buddhist Festival
- Indian Film Festival
- Yoga Classes
- Mehndi Art
- Indian Food Festival
- One of the main objectives of the Festival of India is to expand people to people contacts through understanding each other’s culture, tradition and heritage. I hope the Chinese people would seize this opportunity to witness Indian culture in Beijing. I would like to express our gratitude to the Government of China and the Embassy of India, for their support in making this Festival possible.