Ambassador's welcome address at the Naming Ceremony of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Beijing
NAMING CEREMONY OF
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA CULTURAL CENTRE, BEIJING
Ambassador's Welcome Address
(14 August 2018)
President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations –
Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe Ji,
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I extend a warm welcome to all of you for today’s ceremony where we will name the Indian Cultural Centre, which is part of the New Culture Wing of the Embassy of India to China, as the “Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre”. I am delighted that the President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations himself is present with all of us on this very auspicious occasion. I welcome him very warmly to Beijing and to the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre.
2. At the outset, I would also like to acknowledge some of the other dignitaries who are with us here today. The former President of the ICCR, Dr Karan Singh-ji, is a Special Guest at today’s function. From China, I would like to acknowledge the presence of Prof Jiang Jingkui, Head of Hindi Department of Peking University, Professor Dong Youchen, Tagore Scholar, Former Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, and Mr Chen Lixing, an old friend and Former Senior Advisor at China Radio International.
3. Swami Vivekananda played an important role in bringing about a new awakening in India. His thoughts based on Vedic philosophy, spirituality and service to mankind are of important relevance to our world, particularly in the 21st Century. It is significant that his teachings continue to reverberate in every sphere of India’s social, cultural and political life to this day. Therefore, we are delighted that the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre will become an important part of India’s outreach to China.
4. India and China are ancient civilisations with a long history of friendly contact. We are neighbours. We are well-wishers. And as Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping agreed at their historic Informal Summit at Wuhan in April this year, India and China are partners in progress and development. Therefore, it is apt that the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre will promote India’s great traditions amongst our friends in China.
5. Swami Vivekananda said, ”In a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart”. Mr President, let me assure you that the activities we will pursue from this Cultural Centre will flow from our heart and their objective will be to bring together the hearts of the people of China and the people of India.
6. With these words, I once again welcome all of you to the naming ceremony of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre. Thank you.