The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a festival of Indian Culture in Russia ‘Namaste Russia’ in Moscow yesterday (May 10, 2015).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said Indian culture and its heritage of art, music and cinema have enjoyed love and appreciation across Russia over centuries. In India too, there is enormous warmth and regard for Russian culture as showcased in its ballet, literature and traditions. Russia’s Gerasim Lebedev, who was arguably the first European Indologist, pioneered the Bengali theatre 220 years ago in Kolkata.
The President said with the support of the Russian Ministry of Culture, ‘Namaste Russia’ will reach various regions of Russia over the next six months. In response to the interest in Indian fine arts across Russia, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations will send Indian teachers of music and dance to regional centres in Russia. These efforts will help people living in different regions of Russia to deepen their engagement with contemporary and classical Indian culture. It is also important that the youth of two countries is encouraged to join these cultural exchanges. He said that he was delighted to learn that the logo for ‘Namaste Russia’ is designed by a young Russian from the Russian town of Krasnoyarsk, who succeeded in an open competition with both Indians and Russians.