Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Vietnam link!

I am back in Delhi again. Met Sudhir Jalan and Sanjay Budhia on flight. Had a nice feeling when Sanjay showed me his pink palms and told me it was the same colour that I had sent him on Holi.
Yesterday evening attended the launch of Traces of Indian Culture in Vietnam by Geetesh Sharma at the PHD Chamber of Commerce on Kranti Marg. The function was well attended by Bengali, Hindi and few Vietnamese writers. I also met Mr J C Sharma the former Indian ambassador to Vietnam. He happens to be the first person to write a book on Vietnam from India.
I learnt about the great and deep cultural linkages between India and Vietnam through the wonderful and informative speeches of Mr Sharma, Prof Joginder Paul, Mr Nguen Hoanh Son of Vietnam Embassy in India and Geetesh ji. What struck me were the remarkable pictures of ancient Hindu temples and sculptures in Vietnam which Geetesh ji had collected during his 18 visits to that country. Our former ambassador said that though yet to be historically confirmed, it is evident that a group of businessmen and traders from Bihar went to Java, Sumatra, Cambodia and Vietnam about 1500 to 2000 years ago and took their families along to these far off lands. Like the successful Indian diaspora of today, they too built schools, temples, spread the Indian culture and thrived. The Indian culture has left deep and lasting impression on Vietnam. Some of the speakers at the function requested Dr Karan Singh to open an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) centre in Vietnam. Dr Singh informed us that India would be opening one such a centre in Dhaka next week and then another one in Abu Dhabi but there was, as of now, no such plans for Vietnam.
Honestly, my main reason to attend the book launch function was to listen to Dr Karan Singh (File picture) who is a true flag bearer and ambassador of Indian culture. I love hearing his speeches and seldom let by any opportunity to hear him. But Dr Singh was very brief in his address yesterday. Prof Joginder Paul invited me to his house.
At the IIC yesterday I had a chance meeting with Roopen and Roopa Debi Roy and we had tea together. This was followed by a dinner with the chairman of CNN IBN news channel at the Olives in Hotel Diplomat.
ess bee

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