Nehru, Uncle Ho were friends
HA NOI — The friendship between late President Ho Chi Minh and late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and Viet Nam and India in general are celebrated at an exhibition that opened in Ha Noi yesterday.
|Friends: Visitors view images at the exhibition Viet Nam-India Relations. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung
Entitled Viet Nam-India Relations: Solidarity, Co-operation and Development, the exhibition features about 200 photographs, documents and objects.
Many of the items are on public view for the first time. Documentary films on the visits of President Ho to India will also be screened during the exhibition, which affirms the development of the long-standing and cordial relations forged by the President and PM Nehru and nurtured by generations of leaders and peoples from the two countries.
The exhibition is made up of three parts. The first one covers over 50 years of relations between Viet Nam and India, starting from the visit of PM Nehru to Ha Noi in 1954 and President Ho to New Delhi in 1958.
An original and translated version of the poem To Nehru written by President Ho in 1943 are on display to show the mutual understanding between the two leaders. Ranjit Rae, India Ambassador to Viet Nam, read the poem at the exhibition's opening ceremony:
I am struggling, you are active
You are in jail, I am in prison
Ten thousand miles apart, we have not met
We communicate without words.
The second part of the show reviews various visits of State leaders of the two countries. Photos on display highlight bilateral co-operation in various fields such as politics, economics, defence, security, culture, social affairs, education and training.
The third part of the exhibition depicts the landscapes, traditional customs and daily life of people of India and of Viet Nam. World Heritage sites in India are introduced to Vietnamese visitors such as Konark Sun Temple built in the 13th century in Orissa and the Kutub Minar Tower built in the 12th century in New Delhi.
The exhibition will also highlight a series of cultural activities organised during the Viet Nam - India Friendship Year 2012.
"Of the various events, perhaps it is this exhibition that best captures the depth and the warmth of the two countries' relations," said Rae.
"Our friendship is not based merely on similar interests and shared views on regional and global issues, it's rooted in our ethos, in the spiritual traditions of our ancient societies; it's a relationship forged during our common struggles for freedom and national liberation," he said.
Rae met with Vietnamese visitors and authorities at an arts performance held during the exhibition's opening yesterday. He told a story about a banquet hosted by President Rajendra Prasad for President Ho in 1958.
The banquet was held in India's Presidential Palace and an awkward situation was created for many of the Indian guests who seemed nervous at the prospect of having to eat tandoori chicken with a fork and knife. Indians are accustomed to eat this delicacy directly with their fingers. Sensing this unease, President Ho remarked, "You see, gentlemen, eating chicken with a fork and knife is just like talking to your lover through an interpreter". Then the tension was dispelled and everyone enjoyed the tandoori chicken without having to bother about formal table manners.
The Ambassador said he expects the exhibition will tour other cities and provinces in Viet Nam.
The exhibition will run in Ha Noi until next Thursday at the Ho Chi Minh Museum. — VNS