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Gulabi meenakari brooch to ittar bottles: PM Modi’s gifts to G7 leaders a slice of Indian crafts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken along a plethora of such artistic gifts for each of the G7 leaders.

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: June 29, 2022 7:31:58 am
Gulabi meenakari brooch to ittar bottles: PM Modi’s gifts to G7 leaders a slice of Indian craftsPrime Minister Narendra Modi gifted lacquerware Ram Darbar to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

During the G7 meet in Germany, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a gulabi meenakari brooch and cufflink set to US President Joe Biden. The cufflinks were specially prepared for the President with a matching brooch for the First Lady.

The Prime Minister had taken along a plethora of such artistic gifts for each of the G7 leaders.

Gulabi Meenakari is a GI-tagged art form of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. A piece of pure silver is moulded into a base form, and the chosen design is embossed in the metal.

While pieces of black pottery from Nizamabad were gifted to Japanese PM Kishida Fumio, a Nandi-themed dokra art piece sourced from Chhattisgarh was presented to Argentina President Alberto Fernandez, and a hand-painted tea set from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr was meant for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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“The gifts celebrated India’s diversity; what made the choice significant was that these were not particularly expensive items but a celebration of the craft traditions of India,” said a source privy to the selection.

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Other leaders of the powerful grouping also got personalised and handpicked presents. French President Emmanuel Macron got a selection of ittar bottles from UP’s Kannauj that were packed in a custom-made zardozi box, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was gifted a marble inlay table top that had its origins in Agra, while Senegal President Macky Sall was presented a range of moonj baskets and cotton durries that were sourced from Prayagraj, Amethi and Sultanpur in UP. A handmade knotted silk carpet from Kashmir was gifted to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was presented a metal marodi carving matka from Moradabad.

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Behind the selection, there was also an effort to find common links and celebrate shared traditions. For instance, to celebrate the shared Ramayana links between India and Indonesia, the PM gifted a lacquerware Ram Darbar to Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The GI-tagged lacquerware art-form has its roots in the temple town of Varanasi in UP. It is believed that the Indonesian version of Ramayana – known as Kakawin Ramayana – was written during the Medang Kingdom (8th-11th century) in Central Java. Similarly, marble inlay has its origins in Opus sectile – a form of pietra dura popularised in the ancient and medieval Roman world where materials were cut and inlaid into walls and floors to make a picture or pattern.

“The Prime Minister’s Office indicates the idea or choice before an official visit. Items are then shortlisted accordingly and selected,” the source added.

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First published on: 29-06-2022 at 03:18:20 am
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