PM Modi uses his 3-nation tour to showcase Indian culture

HIROSHIMA – Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is in Japan’s Hiroshima to attend G7 Summit is leaving no stone unturned to highlight India’s rich culture and heritage there. PM Modi, who is on a 3-nation tour including Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Australia, is spreading awareness about Indian culture and traditions during his abroad tour and interactions with foreign dignitaries. He unveiled the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Hiroshima, which reflects Indian values of peace and non-violence.

The Gandhian ideals of peace and harmony reverberate globally and give strength to millions, Prime Minister Modi said after the unveiling ceremony. The bust was gifted by India to Hiroshima as a symbol of friendship and goodwill between India and Japan on the occasion of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the city for the G7 summit. The 42 inches tall bronze bust has been sculpted by Padma Bhushan awardee Ram Vanji Sutar. The bust site, adjacent to the Motoyasu River, is close to the iconic – Bomb Dome that is visited by thousands of people, locals and tourists alike, every day. The location has been chosen as a mark of solidarity for peace and non-violence.

Mahatma Gandhi dedicated his life to peace and non-violence. The location truly resonates with the principles and life of Gandhiji, which continues to inspire the world and its leaders. He also met and encouraged a linguist and an artist linked to Indian culture. PM Modi on Saturday appreciated leading Japanese painter Hiroko Takayama for imbibing the spirit of India in her paintings and contributing to the promotion of cultural cooperation between India and Japan. “PM @narendramodi had a warm conversation with leading Japanese painter Hiroko Takayama. PM appreciated Ms Takayama for imbibing the spirit of India in her paintings and contributing to the promotion of cultural cooperation between the two countries,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted on Saturday.

Takayama has worked extensively on enhancing the cultural bonds between India and Japan. PM Modi on Saturday tweeted: “Met Ms Hiroko Takayama, a respected artist who has a close association with India. She has worked extensively on enhancing the cultural bonds between India and Japan. She also presented her artwork to me.” Hiroko Takayama is a Hiroshima city-based artist whose paintings have built a path to deeper cultural bonds between India and Japan. Takayama’s thematic exploration of life’s radiance, with resilient Indian women as her motif, was inspired by her first visit to India in 1981. She has conducted numerous painting workshops for Indian artists using Japanese ink in various Indian cities. She even taught briefly at the Visva Bharati University, Shantiniketan. PM Modi’s engagements are aimed at augmenting the presence of Indian culture in these countries.

PM Modi on Saturday interacted with renowned Japanese author, Hindi, and Punjabi linguist and Padma Shri awardee Tomio Mizokami in Hiroshima, Japan. The Prime Minister said that Padma Shri awardee Mizokami has made efforts to popularise Indian culture in Japan. “In Hiroshima, I was glad to interact with Professor Tomio Mizokami. A Padma Awardee, he is a distinguished Hindi and Punjabi linguist. He has made numerous efforts to make Indian culture and literature popular among the people of Japan,” PM Modi tweeted on Saturday.

A professor emeritus at Osaka University, Tomio Mizokami, was conferred a Padma Shri award in 2018 for his contribution to the fields of education and literature. A contemporary of Yoshiyasi Suzuki, who now lives a life of seclusion, Mizokami led the Jwalamukhi book project. The editing was done by Ved Prakash Singh, Associate Visiting Professor in the Hindi Department of Osaka University. Between 1980 and 1986, Yoshiyasi Suzuki, who had learned Hindi at the Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra at his individual initiative, published a Hindi magazine titled ‘Jwalamukhi’ in which all the poems, essays, and stories were contributed exclusively by Japanese nationals. The book was printed in India using a modest grant from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. PM Modi is set to release “The Tirukkural”, a classic Tamil text written by venerable poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar, in Tok Pisin language in Papua New Guinea, the next country on his itinerary, officials said. Tok Pisin is one of the official languages of the Pacific nation.

The prime minister will travel from Papua New Guinea to Australia on Monday. Local authorities will formally name the Harris Park locality in Parramatta there as “Little India”, in recognition of the presence and contribution of many Indians there. In Australia, an entire locality of Sydney, Harris Park will now be recognized as Little India as a testimony of the growing influence of India and Indians.

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