Xi-Modi 'spin' world attention to the banks of Sabarmati

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on March 12, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad as Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes him with traditional cotton garland on Wednesday.

Xi JinPing- Narendra Modi

The world community watched in excitement as the top leaders of the two most populated nations in the world sat together on the floor of Hriday Kunj at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad giving a different spin to their relationship. As the guest Chinese President Xi Jinping tried his hands on the charkha, the host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen explaining to him the hidden message of self-reliance that Mahatma Gandhi’s charkha carries.

On his six-hour visit to Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a visit to Gandhi Ashram and offered his homage to the Father of the Nation. Modi, who received the Chinese President at the Ashram, welcomed him with the traditional garland made of cotton thread. Modi was also seen explaining the significance of the tradition.

While the two spent nearly an hour at the ashram, Modi took his guest Jinping through the exhibition at the Ashram detailing about Mahatma Gandhi’s life and works.

With Gandhi’s favourite Gujarati bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan’ and ‘Raghupati Raghav’ being sung by children in the background, the Prime Minister and Chinese President visited main parts of the Ashram including the heart - Hriday Kunj, where Mahatma Gandhi lived.

Jinping, who was gifted with pictures, books and mini charkha, penned down his experience of visiting the Ashram on the visitors’ book, while his host Modi stood beside him watching.

The short historic visit of the Chinese guests entered in its last phase when Jinping and Modi headed towards Sabarmati Riverfront, where there was a lavish authentic Gujarati dinner was waiting for them.

Modi, who has been vocal about Gujarati culture and heritage, accompanied the Chinese President and his wife Peng Liyuan through the riverfront park, located right on the opposite bank to the Sabarmati Ashram. Liyuan, who is a well-known folk singer in China, took keen interest in knowing about the Gujarati music and art.

The impressive exhibition of folk dance and Gujarati garba made the walk-the-talk of the two leaders more colourful and interesting. Colourful fountains added the required exoticism to the atmosphere. As the two leaders sat on a crafted wooden swing facing the river, it became one of the most memorable moments of the day.

As the atmosphere started getting joyful with colours of Gujarati culture and heritage completely enveloped the 'dinner delegation' - comprising of 22 persons. Apparently, no borders were felt at least on the banks of Sabarmati River. At the dinner, hosted by the Gujarat government, Chinese guests savoured over 50 authentic Gujarati varieties in a colourful, musical surrounding.

Published on September 17, 2014

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