Culture and poetry play key role in forging diplomacy with South America

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New Delhi | Updated: September 16, 2016 4:39:53 PM

While the region boasts of books on Indian philosophy, Ayurveda and spiritualism, in both Spanish and Portuguese, very few have been on contemporary India written by Latin Americans

With the similarities in cultures between the Latin American Region and India, the mash-up of diplomacy and business with culture and poetry has helped in creating strong ties between the people of the two region. The Latin American region has a substantial Indian population, which acts as a strong bridge.

Ahead of a major business meet in Buenos Aires later this month, Argentinian director Pablo Cesar, working on a co-production, ‘Thinking of Him’, based on a romantic story of Rabindranath Tagore’s encounter with Victoria O’Campo in Buenos Aires, was in New Delhi recently with his team before flying to Kolkata. The film is to be shot in both India and Argentina. The great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges was also celebrated in New Delhi.

“Together with Cervantes Institute, we had organised a whole week of activities: An art installation, theatre, dramatised readings of some of Borges’ best short stories, academic panels by some of India’s most renowned scholars on Latin American literature, translated poems to Indian languages, a movie and more,” said a diplomat at the embassy in New Delhi.

Despite such closeness, there is still a huge information gap. While the region boasts of books on Indian philosophy, Ayurveda and spiritualism, in both Spanish and Portuguese, very few have been on contemporary India written by Latin Americans. Similarly, there is a shortage of books on Latin America by Indian authors.

Dibyajyoti Mukhopadhyay, director, Indo-Hispanic Language Academy, Kolkata, who has been teaching Spanish for almost 26 years now, will be leading a seven-member delegation to Spain where a book containing 50 poems of Rabindranath Tagore, from his book Sanchayita, a collection of poems, translated from Bengali to Spanish by Manab Bandhu Bera and revised by the Spanish poet Francisco Muñoz Soler and Albert Torés García, will be released.

At an event organised by Consejería de Cultura, Centro Andaluz de las Letras – Junta de Andalucía, Junta de Andalucia (provincial government of Andalucia), another book translated from Spanish to Bengali of Francisco Muñoz Soler, by Mukhopadhyay, will be launched.

The Indian film industry has been choosing various exotic locations in the region — ‘Sarrainodu’ became the first Telugu movie to be shot in Bolivia earlier this year.

According to a diplomat in the embassy of Bolivia in New Delhi, the director of Robot 2.0 had shot a couple of songs featuring superstar Rajinikanth and Amy Jackson, earlier this year.

The Indian embassy in Lima has recently started classes in Hindi for the local people there. Indian envoy Sandeep Chakravorty told FE, “The response to Hindi language classes in the embassy is overwhelming. People are very keen to learn more about the culture and language of India. In fact, Peruvian students of Hindi classes even rendered ‘Vande Mataram’ during the August 15 celebrations.”

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