Moscow, May 11 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a ‘Namaste Russia’ festival of Indian culture here Monday. Indian culture and its heritage of art, music and cinema have enjoyed love and appreciation across Russia over centuries, he said on the occasion.
The president said that in India, too, there is enormous warmth and regard for Russian culture as showcased in its ballet, literature and traditions, a statement said. “Russia’s Gerasim Lebedev, who was arguably the first European Indologist, pioneered the Bengali theatre 220 years ago in Kolkata,” he said.
Mukherjee hoped that 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, the president said.
“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 are encouraged to join these cultural exchanges,” he said.
Mukherjee was also delighted to learn that the logo for ‘Namaste Russia’ was designed by a young Russian, who succeeded in an open competition with both Indians and Russians.