Prime Minister Narendra Modi finished his visit to Bali and left for India on Wednesday after spending two "productive days" at the G20 Summit. During the visit, Modi met several world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Before his departure, Modi presented artworks and traditional items representing the rich heritage of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh to world leaders. Here’s a look at the gifts the prime minister presented to world leaders.
USA – Kangra Miniature Paintings (Kangra) | Modi presented US President Joe Biden with Kangra miniature paintings. Kangra miniature paintings generally portray ‘Shringar Rasa’ or depictions of love on a natural backdrop. The sentiment of love as a metaphor for devotion to the divine remains the inspiration and the central theme of these Pahari paintings. The art originated in a small hill state ‘Guler’ in the first half of the 18th century when a family of Kashmiri painters trained in the Mughal Style of painting sought shelter at the court of Raja Dalip Singh of Guler. This style reached its zenith during the reign of Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch (r.1776-1824) who was a great patron of Kangra art. These exquisite paintings are made today by master painters from Himanchal Pradesh using natural colours. (Image: PIB India)
United Kingdom – Mata Ni Pachedi (Ahemdabad) | UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was presented with ‘Mata Ni Pachedi’. Mata Ni Pachedi is a handmade textile of Gujarat meant to be an offering in the temple shrines which house the Mother Goddess. The name is derived from the Gujarati words ‘Mata’ meaning ‘mother goddess’, ‘Ni’ meaning ‘belonging to’ and ‘Pachedi’ meaning ‘backdrop’. The goddess forms the central figure in the design, flanked by other elements of her story. Mata Ni Pachedi was crafted by the nomadic community of Waghris as a homage to the various incarnations of Mata, the divine singular form of the goddess from whom the others emanate and display narrative depictions of epics of Mata or Devi or Shakti. (Image: PIB India)
Australia – Pithora (Chhota Udaipur) | Australian leader Anthony Albanese was presented with Phithora, which is a ritualistic tribal folk art by the Rathwa artisans from Chhota Udaipur in Gujarat. It is a living testament to an ever-changing ethos exemplifying the highly enriched folk and tribal art culture of Gujarat. These paintings are depictions of the cave paintings that tribals used to make reflecting the social, cultural and mythological life and beliefs of those tribals. It incorporates all nature’s bounty enmeshed with various aspects of human civilization encased in a childlike delight of discovery. A Pithora as a mural has a special significance in the annals of cultural anthropology. It brings a sense of exuberant energy in colour dating back to mankind’s earliest expressions of creativity. These paintings bear a striking resemblance to the Aboriginal dot painting from the indigenous communities of Australia. (Image: PIB India)
Italy – Patan Patola Dupatta (scarf) (Patan) | Italy’s Giorgia Meloni was presented with a ‘Patan Patola dupatta’. The (Double Ikat) Patan Patola textile woven by the Salvi family in the Patan area of Northern Gujarat is so well crafted that it becomes a feast of colours, with the front and the reverse being indistinguishable. Patole is a term derived from the Sanskrit word “Pattu” meaning silk fabric that can be traced back to ancient times. The complex motifs placed in this exquisite Dupatta (scarf) are inspired by the ‘Rani ki Vav’, a stepwell in Patan, built in the 11th century AD, which is an architectural marvel known for its precision, details and beautiful sculptural panels. The Patan Patola Dupatta is packed in a ‘Sadeli’ box, which in itself is a decorative piece. Sadeli is a highly skilled wood craft, native to the Surat area of Gujarat. It involves precisely cutting geometric patterns on wooden articles to produce aesthetically appealing designs. (Image: PIB India)
France, Germany, Singapore – Agate Bowl (Kutch) | Modi’s gifts to the leaders from France, Germany and Singapore were ‘agate bowls’. Gujarat is known for its agate craft. The semi-precious stone formed of chalcedonic-silica is found in underground mines of Rajpipla and Ratanpur in riverbeds and extracted to produce a variety of ornamental objects. Its flexibility allows the traditional and skilled craftsperson to transform the stone into a range of products, making it very popular. This precious traditional craft has been passed down through generations of artisans since the Indus Valley civilization days and is currently practised by Artisans of Khambat. Agate can be seen in various contemporary designs as home decor objects as well as fashion jewellery. The healing powers attributed to agate stones have sustained the use of agate over centuries. (Image: PIB India)
Indonesia – Silver Bowl (Surat) & Kinnauri Shawl (Kinnaur) | The Indonesian leader was presented with a silver bowl and Kinnauri Shawl. The unique and finely crafted bowl is made of pure silver. This is a century-old craft perfected by the traditional and highly skilled metalsmiths of the Surat region in Gujarat The process is highly elaborate, using precision, patience and skilled handwork that captures the ingenuity and creativity of the artisans. The process of creating even the simplest of silver products is an intricate one and can involve a group of four to five people. This marvellous combination of art and utility adds charm and elegance to contemporary and traditional ensembles. (Image: PIB India)
Kinnauri Shawl (Kinnaur) | Kinnauri shawl, as the name suggests, is the specialities of the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. With its roots in the ancient tradition of wool milling and textile manufacturing in the region. The designs show influence from Central Asia and Tibet. The shawls are made using the extra-weft technique of weaving – with every element of the design woven using the knotting method -where the weft is inserted by hand to lock the design, producing the lift in the pattern formed. (Image: PIB India)
Spain – Kanal Brass Set (Mandi & Kullu) | Modi presented Spain’s leader with a Kanal brass set associated with Mandi and Kullu regions in Himachal Pradesh. Kanal is a large, straight brass trumpet, over a metre long, played in parts of Himalayan India. It has a prominent bell resembling a datura flower. It is used on ceremonial occasions, such as the processions of village deities. It is also used to welcome the leaders of Himachal Pradesh. It is a lip reed musical instrument and has a broader base as a saucer of 44 cm in diameter and the rest of the portion is a brass conical hollow tube. The brass tube of Kanal has two or three round bulges. The blowing end has a mouthpiece consisting of the shape of a cup. The mouth end looks as if a Dhatura flower. Around 138-140 long instrument is played on specific occasions and is very rarely used by common people. These traditional musical instruments are now increasingly used as décor objects and are manufactured in the Mandi and Kullu districts of Himachal Pradesh by skilled metal craftspersons. (Image: PIB India)
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