Chennai: On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping touched down in India for the two-day informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and received a grand cultural welcome. On the occasion, PM Modi sported a white half-sleeved shirt, a veshti and an angavastram as he welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping in traditional clothes at Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram.

The objective of the meeting is likely to be the exchange of views on regional and global issues, finding a broad pathway on bilateral relations, and discussing ways to build better connections between the two countries.

Being a gracious host, PM Modi presented two special gifts to Jinping that symbolises India’s rich traditions:

 

A Nachiarkoil lamp

 

The Nachiarkoil lamp, is a brass lamp, a handicraft product which is exclusively made in Nachiarkoil town in Tamil Nadu by a community called Pathers. The presence of this lamp is considered to be auspicious and is integral to all the rituals and ceremonies in the southern state.

It is also believed to bring good luck to its owners. Made of brass and resplendently gold-coated, the lamp stands six-feet tall, weighs 108 kgs and took 12 days to make.

 

 Thanjavur painting on dancing Saraswati

 

 

This is an ancient, miniature form of painting that gets its name after the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The painting is 3-ft high, 4-ft wide and about 40 kilograms, which took about 45 days to make. It is set in a wooden frame carved with beads, the traditional motif used for such frames.

The central motif for the painting is Dancing Hindu goddess Saraswathi, considered the embodiment of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and nature. The painting shows her playing the veena, and dancing in celebration of eternal bliss. The painting also has the bird ‘Annam’ which is a symbol of purity, prosperity and beauty.

The presence of this painting is considered auspicious and is believed to bring knowledge, success and prosperity to the owner.

Prior to this, during the 2018 Wuhan informal summit, PM Modi had presented specially-made prints of paintings by legendary Chinese artist Xu Beihong, who spent time at Santiniketan in West Bengal, to Xi.

As per reports, President Xi Jinping also plans to present gifts to PM Modi that symbolises their friendship as well as friendly ties between the two countries.