Rabindranath and China: China donates Rs 53.6 lakh to Tagore House Museum

China and Rabindranath Tagore
China and Rabindranath Tagore

Kolkata, Aug 29 (Calcutta Tube/ IBNS) The Chinese Government has decided to donate Rs. 53.6 lakh for the establishment of a gallery on “Rabindranath and China” at the Tagore House Museum (Jorasanko Thakurbari) here.

An agreement for this purpose between the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Rabindra Bharati University was signed on Friday at Tagore House by Mao Siwei, Consul General of China and Karuna Sindhu Das, the Vice-Chancellor of the university.

According to the agreement, the China Gallery will cover an area of 180 square meters and display motifs including Chinese Civilization, Lord Buddha–the Great Liaison between India and China, Rabindranath’s inquisitiveness and respect for China from his boyhood days, Visva Bharati Santiniketan and Studies of Chinese Literature and Culture, and Rabindranath’s visit to China in 1924.

Siwei said the Gallery will be inaugurated in May 2011, when Rabindranath Tagore’s 150-year Birth Anniversary is ceremoniously celebrated.

He further said world bard Rabindranath Tagore is ‘very popular’ in China. Ten years ago, The Complete Works of Tagore was published in 24 volumes in China.

“As far as I know, Chinese is the language which has done the most for Tagore’s publications, second only to Indian languages and English,” Siwei said.

In his speech at the agreement signing ceremony, Siwei  highlighted Rabindranath’s China visit in 1924.

“In the ancient times we learned Buddhism from India; in the modern age we have been inspired by Rabindranath Tagore, the great son of Bengal,” he said.

He even quoted Tagore as saying, “When I had my invitation to China, from my friends in Peking, I was greatly delighted. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to renew the deep spiritual relationship between our two peoples which was established long ago.

“Though I am old, and no longer strong, I accepted it with great joy. Already, from the results, I see that this acceptance was fortunate; and that possibly this visit may be fruitful for Asia, if India and China can join hands, not to further any political ambitions, but to build up a great civilization of ideals.”

In May this year, Indian President Pratibha Patil unveiled a bust of Rabindranath Tagore on a busy road in Shanghai to mark the poet’s visit to the city 86 years ago.

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