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Ambassador Speeches

Ambassador’s Remarks during the Concert by Music Maestro Pravin Godkhindi at India House on Friday, May 03, 2019

Good evening and a warm welcome to India House. We’re glad you’re here.

The artist of this evening, Pravin Godkhindi, is India’s leading flautist and an accomplished artist, who for the mastery of vast flute repertory is rightly dubbed सुरमणि and नाद-निधि. Having grown up in Dharwad in Karnataka, he thus shares his roots with such music luminaries as Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Kumar Gandharva and Gangubai Hangal.

Though educated as an electronics engineer, Pravin – luckily - decided to follow his passion for flute which he had felt from a very young age. He has remarkable proficiency in Hindustani Classical, Carnatic and Western Classical Music.

Though educated as an electronics engineer, Pravin – luckily - decided to follow his passion for flute which he had felt from a very young age. He has remarkable proficiency in Hindustani Classical, Carnatic and Western Classical Music.

Let me bring you up to date with some of the initiatives we have undertaken to facilitate the people-to-people exchanges between India and the United States.

This year as you are aware, we are celebrating two major historic milestones: 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. In fact, immediately after my arrival in Washington Dc, I took part in the devotional Sikh Music program by Bhai Baldeep Singh on the occasion of 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

The Mission and our Consulates in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco plan to interfaith conferences, lectures, activities and public functions to mark 150th anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary.

The UN declared 21st June as the International Day of Yoga. We are celebrating the 5th International Day of Yoga in Washington DC at the National Monument grounds on Sunday 16th June at 8:30 am. It will be followed by an Indian Vegetarian Food Festival on the same day at 10:30 am at the Freer Gallery. I understand that the flyers of these two events are being distributed. I request you to spread the word, save the date and please attend these two events.

We are participating in this year’s Passport DC tour that will be held Saturday, 4 May 2019. An exhaustive program has been put together that showcases food, art, dance, fashion, and music of different countries. We will have Indian dance and music presentations, an exhibition on Gandhi, Yoga demonstration, sari wrapping lessons, and henna demonstrations.

We have reached out to the student community in a big way. I took part in two ‘Chai & Chat’ events with Indian students in Washington DC and Chicago. The Embassy has also organized a direct interaction by the senior officers of the Embassy with the students.

I recently visited Detroit and took part in the ‘Celebrate India’ festival organized by Detroit Institute of Arts which saw an enthusiastic participation of more than 2000 people

The technology has made it easy for us to stay connected. The Embassy website has been revamped to make it more user friendly. We are also very active on social media, with sizable following on Facebook (150,000 followers), Twitter (85,000 followers), YouTube and Instagram. Please follow us on all these channels to stay connected with us. Please collect our social media cards that enable you to directly reach out to the Embassy pages.

While we are talking about festivals, India is in the midst of the greatest celebration of democracy- general elections. It is a tribute to India’s democratic traditions going back two millennia, that a country with nearly 900 million people eligible to vote (that’s nearly double the combined populations of USA, Canada and Mexico), that this transfer of power takes place in an orderly and peaceful manner. The entire process is transparent, open and fair.

Once again, thank you very much for taking time to attend this evening

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