The centenary of Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to China was celebrated with a visit by Indian delegates to China

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The centenary of Rabindranath Tagore's visit to China was celebrated with a visit by Indian delegates to China.
The centenary of Rabindranath Tagore's visit to China was celebrated with a visit by Indian delegates to China.
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The centenary of Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to China was celebrated with a visit by Indian delegates to China.

On April 12, 1924, Rabindranath Tagore, the celebrated Indian poet, writer, philosopher, and social reformer, embarked on a historic journey to Shanghai, marking the beginning of his extensive visit across China, spanning over 50 days. A century later, an esteemed Indian delegation, comprising six scholars and artists, embarked on a mission to “Retrace the Footsteps of Tagore” during their visit to Shanghai from April 14 to 16, 2024.

Fu Jihong, Vice President of the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC), warmly welcomed the delegation during their visit. He acknowledged the profound connection between Tagore and the Chinese people, as Shanghai served as the starting and ending point of all three of Tagore’s visits to China. This visit underscored the enduring cultural ties between Shanghai and Tagore, reflecting the deep friendship between the peoples of China and India.

The Indian delegation engaged in various cultural exchanges during their stay in Shanghai, including visits to the Shanghai Municipal Archives and Shanghai Jinyuan Senior High School. They paid homage to significant sites from Tagore’s past visits, such as the Huishan Wharf Site and Siming Villa. Additionally, the delegation participated in the “Centenary of Tagore’s Visit to China” event at Tongji University, fostering meaningful interactions between old friends and new acquaintances.

In a poignant moment at the intersection of Nanchang Road and Maoming South Road, Souraja Tagore, a descendant of Rabindranath Tagore, paid tribute to her ancestor by offering flowers and prayers at the bronze statue erected in his honor. Music artist Manoj Murali Nair found inspiration in the presence of Tagore’s statue, reflecting on the profound connection across time and space through music and nature. The flowers I have just offered have all found their place within his verse,” she shared. “In this moment, I feel closer to him.”

Music artist Manoj Murali Nair, experiencing China for the first time, found inspiration while wandering the streets of Shanghai. In the presence of Tagore’s statue, he spontaneously hummed a melody, moved by the ambiance. Later, at Shanghai Jinyuan Senior High School, he was drawn to a piano, where he played a piece inspired by the surrounding breeze and sunlight. Reflecting on the moment, Nair felt a profound connection to Tagore’s soul across time, stirred by the beauty of nature and the echoes of history.

Avigit Banerjee, Director of Cheena Bhavana of Visva-Bharati University, expressed deep appreciation for Shanghai’s preservation of Tagore-related sites, emphasizing the enduring bond between Tagore and the city. Banerjee highlighted Tagore’s practical contributions to fostering cultural exchanges between China and India, particularly through the establishment of Cheena Bhavana.

During their visit to Shanghai Jinyuan Senior High School, Souraja Tagore shared her dance inspired by Tagore’s poetry, symbolizing the universal language of love and nature. The delegation also witnessed Chinese students learning Indian dance and calligraphy, highlighting the importance of mutual cultural exchange and understanding.

Zhao Lihong, Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Writers’ Association, engaged in a poetic dialogue with Indian guests, reflecting on Tagore’s influence on Chinese literature. At the Shanghai Municipal Archives, Director General Ms. Xu Weiwan and Baisakhi Mitra, Curator of the Rabindra Bharati Museum in Kolkata, explored future cooperation between Chinese and Indian museums.

Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, former Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, emphasized the shared mission of promoting friendly cooperation between China and India, echoing Tagore’s call for unity amidst differences.

As Rabindranath Tagore famously said during his visit to China a century ago, “Let what seems a barrier becomes a path, and let us unite, not in spite of our differences, but through them!”

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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