Parallel paths met when an event showcasing the similar approach towards strengthening cultural bonds was held in the national Capital recently. Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ two-day bilateral seminar on ‘Indo-Vietnam Cultural Relations: Retrospect and Prospect’ was inaugurated at Azad Bhavan on Saturday.
Prof. Lokesh Chandra, President, ICCR addressed the crowd by saying: “History shapes a nation’s future. The Indian traders and monks who had once migrated from India to Vietnam, had established their Champa (Hindu) kingdoms in central Vietnam without any violence or invasion.
“The Indian approach was sharing, which gave them scripts for language while cotton fabrics and sugar were major exports at the highest point in Vietnam. In the past 2000 years Vietnam has maintained its identity while we have a problem in India. International Mother Language Day, accepted by UNESCO India and Vietnam, must change terminology as language is power.”
Guest of Honour, HE Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, said: “Cultural Cooperation is one of the pillars in the strategic partnerships between our two countries.
“Vietnam and India have many cultural similarities which have been accumulated by the interactions between our countries over the last 2000 years. Besides enhancing the exchange of artists, cultural troops, students and think tanks, we should try new areas such as exchange of movies and promoting film shooting in other countries.”
The Chief Guest, Shri Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs said: “Buddhism has a long history which dates back to the 3rd Century BC in Vietnam. Furthermore, some historians also feel that the first oldest Hindu kingdom, Funan ruled from Vyadhapura was established in the lower valley of the Mekong.
“The carvings of Cham period depicted events of Ramayana and Indian mythology such as Marriage ceremony of Ram–Sita, Krishna playing flute, Indra and Dancing apsaras, Vishnu and Sheshnag and the Shivling. The depiction of musical instruments such as Pakhawaj, Mridangam, Drums etc. are reflective influence of Indian music. Vietnam’s famous LakhonBassac dance drama is based on the epic of the Ramayana (Ramleela).”
As cultural relations play an important role in building people to people contacts, future areas of cooperation could make film production in Vietnam which will help in increasing tourism between the two countries as Bollywood has been attracting tourism all around the world. Commenting on the
relevance of the seminar, Ambassador C Rajasekhar, Director General, ICCR said: “The Seminar is an effort to unearth the contacts between these two ancient civilisations and would cover the centuries-old cultural bonding between India and Vietnam: role of Hinduism and Buddhism, relevance of culture and literature in today’s geopolitical scenario in the context.”