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Remarks by Ambassador of India H.E. Mr. Ashok K. Kantha at Glimpses of India Festival Kalashetra Cultural Performance at Tsinghua University, Beijing, 12 May 2014

Chairperson, Tsinghua University Council, Madam Chen Xu;

Teaching and Academic Faculty of University;

Our young friends from University,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to be at China’s prestigious center of teaching and learning and with the brightest minds of the future. Our special thanks are due to Madame Chen Xu and Prof. Chen Jining for making it all possible today. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my warm greetings to the faculty of Tsinghua University and the students of Tsinghua University and Renmin University.

Friends, the leaders of India and China have designated 2014 as the Year of Friendly Exchanges between our two countries. The Glimpses of India Festival is a key component of the Year of Friendly Exchanges to explore and expand the common cultural space shared by our countries. The dance performance today is part of a series of cultural, business and academic activities that are planned during the year to develop closer people to people bonds. 

Our common cultural space is exemplified in the logo for the Festival that is displayed here. On one side, we have an Indian dancer from the Kathakali tradition of southern India and on the other side, is a performer of the Beijing Opera. This seamless blending of vibrant colors and images reflects the time-tested friendship and wide-ranging cooperation between our two neighboring countries.

The Glimpses of India Festival is being organized in twelve cities of China in partnership with our Chinese friends.  This Festival encompasses Indian performing arts, modern Indian arts, Buddhist heritage and its links with China, and trade and business activities. Of special interest to my young friends here are the food and film festivals, and also events bringing together eminent Indian and Chinese scholars and writers. Notices for upcoming performances and exhibitions will be available on our Weibo and website.

I hope the student community and the faculty will participate actively in these events. Today, as technology collapses geographies, appreciation of languages and cultures is an important asset to the managers and public functionaries of the world, be it government, corporate, or academic circles. 

Today, the Glimpses of India Festival brings to us the world renowned Kalashetra performance troupe. I am told Kalashetra artists had a fruitful lecture-demonstration session this morning with Renmin University’s Department of Drama and Art. Today’s performance would introduce you to India’s rich folk and classical traditions through the medium of dance, a universal language of friendship. 

It shall be our endeavor to continue this interaction with our friends in the academic community through our future events. I and my colleagues will be happy to assist you, now and later, in exploring what India has to offer. I believe this dialogue will enrich the partnership between our two countries and their peoples. Our two countries working together means a lot for peace, prosperity and development of the world. 

Thank you.