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Sumptuous Spread of Tamil Cuisine, Dance Performances and Bhajans: Everything About Day 1 of Modi-Xi Summit

A scintillating cultural performance has also been put together for Friday evening by India’s renowned cultural group Kalakshetra that was set up by Rukmani Devi in Arundale in 1936.

News18.com

Updated:October 11, 2019, 6:20 PM IST
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Sumptuous Spread of Tamil Cuisine, Dance Performances and Bhajans: Everything About Day 1 of Modi-Xi Summit
(File Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday accorded a warm welcome to Chinese President Xi Jinping who arrived in the coastal town of Mahabalipuram for an informal summit during which the two leaders are expected to attempt a strategic re-balancing in bilateral ties, strained by a hard-line approach on the Kashmir issue from both sides.

The two leaders will sit together in the lawns of the Shore temple and exchange views on charting a new road map of development and cooperation. Then, the prime minister will host a private dinner for Xi at the Shore temple complex. The menu is likely to have a host of sumptuous traditional dishes.

The lavish menu reportedly comprises of famous vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from the Tamil cuisine. The dinner is supposed to be a private affair where the leaders will be left alone along with their respective interpreters.

A scintillating cultural performance has also been put together for Friday evening by India’s renowned cultural group Kalakshetra that was set up by Rukmani Devi in Arundale in 1936.

The programme, reflecting India’s rich cultural diversity, will comprise of multiple dance performances such as Alarippu that symbolizes the offering of respect to the God, teacher and audience, along with other art forms like Purapaddu and Sethubandhanam.

This will be followed by a musical performance of devotional songs or ‘bhajans’ composed by 15-16 century mystic and saint Kabir Das. The evening will conclude with Shanti Nilava, a prayer for global peace.

On Saturday, the two leaders will have a one-on-one meeting at the Fisherman's Cove resort which will be followed up by delegation-level talks. After the talks, Modi will host a lunch for Xi, and the Chinese leader will leave for Chennai airport at 12.45 pm

The second edition of the informal summit between Modi and Xi comes over two months after India withdrew Jammu and Kashmir's special status and reorganised the state into two union territories. China, an all-weather friend of Pakistan, criticised India's move and even raised the issue in UN General Assembly.

The first informal summit between the two leaders was held in the picturesque Chinese lake city of Wuhan in April 2018, months after a 73-day faceoff between the armies of the two countries in Doklam trijunction raised fears of a war between the two Asian giants.

Ahead of the two-day summit in this seaside resort town, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong told PTI that a new set of consensus, including guiding principles on giving a new direction to the bilateral ties, is expected from engagement.

Strategic affairs expert Ashok Kantha said the focus of the summit on Friday and Saturday would be to move beyond contentious issues and not allow the Kashmir issue to adversely impact overall ties.

Mamallapuram, a town with strong trade links with China's Fujian province, has been spruced up and brought under an unprecedented security cover in the process inconveniencing local people as well as tourists.

All the monuments in Mamallapuram to be visited by Xi were spruced up while colourful gates have been erected along the routes from Chennai to this coastal city.

A grand ornamental arch to welcome the two leaders has been prominently put up at the entrance to Mamallapuram from the East Coast Road. Traditional arches made of banana trees and sugarcane have been put up in front of the hotel where Xi will stay.

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