Nehru, Indira’s birth anniversaries marked in Stockholm

Saturday, November 20, 2010

STOCKHOLM - Rendition of songs in Bengali and Hindi and Tillana and Kathak dances marked the observation here of the birth anniversaries of former Indian prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

The event was organized Friday by the Indian embassy in Sweden in collaboration with environmental NGO TellUs Art and the prestigious Ethnographic Museum and was set in pristine surroundings on the banks of Lake Malaren in Stockholm.

The programme also consisted of an exhibition of paintings by Indian and Swedish children on themes relating to India or Sweden and the protection of the environment. More than 50 children took part in the competition, an Indian embassy statement said.

In his opening address, Indian Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar noted that in India, Nehru’s birth anniversary was observed as Children’s Day and said: The general view is that children need to be treated with respect, affection and, of course, love.

Their views and ideas need to be given due consideration and full importance. Only then will they be able to shoulder the responsibilities that they will be asked to assume in the years to come, Sajjanhar added.

In his address, former member of the Swedish parliament Bjorn Hamilton said that he had been deeply impressed by the immense strides that India has taken in the last few years in the area of economic development as well as in improving the living conditions of its people.

He said that great possibilities exist for further promoting collaboration and cooperation between India and Sweden in political, strategic, economic, commercial and cultural spheres. He expressed his keen interest and determination to continue to work to further expand and deepen relations between India and Sweden.

Hamilton was instrumental in setting up the India Friendship Group in the Swedish parliament in 2006. By the time elections took place in September, this group comprised 45 of the 249 Members of the house.

A cultural programme followed the opening of the exhibition.

This included rendition of songs in Bengali and Hindi by Shipra Nandi, director of the Nandi Music Academy along with her young troupe of singers. A Tillana was performed by students of Usha Balasundaram, director of the Saraswati Kala Kendra. The concluding item was a scintillating Tarana in Kathak style presented by Sunita Singh, who also runs an institution in Stockholm to promote Indian classical dance and music.

The performers received loud, spontaneous and sustained applause. The performances were immensely enjoyed and appreciated by the audience, the embassy statement said.

Prizes were given to the children whose paintings were adjudged to be the best in their age categories. Nine prizes were awarded to the winners and certificates of appreciation given to all the contestants.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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