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We Are Friends, 'Grandpa Wen' Tells Indian Students

PTI 15 Dec 2010, 20:38:18 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Dec 15 (PTI) "India and China are friends", this was the message "Grandpa Wen" had for Indian students during an interaction with them which included a lesson in calligraphy, a discussion on Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and the importance of language as a bridge between civilisations. 

"He is so cool...so kind," was how students of the capital's Tagore International School, who interacted with anexceedingly genial and pleasant Chinese premier described him.

 Wen hit it off with the students right away when asked by a 12th grader whether he could be called Grandpa Wen, he smiled and said "yes". Later, he added that most of the children back home call him exactly that and he was extremely fond of kids and found himself very comfortable in their company.

 Asked by another student whether the Chinese students knew about Rabindranath Tagore, the Chinese Premier said, the "sage poet" (Tagore) was a household name in China. "The older generation of literary giants in China have been deeply influenced by him".

 Wen went on to enumerate Tagore's many works, including 'Gitanjali', and then quipped with a twinkle in his eyes "so how do you grade me" to which the students and teachers replied "ten on ten".   He said India and China are two very populous countries of the world which also have very ancient civilisations.  "Friendship between our two countries has a time-honoured history which can be dated back to 2,000 years," he said
adding that since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries -- in particular the last ten years-- the friendship between the two countries has made significant progress.

  The Chinese premier said that the students in China feel Sino-Indian friendship will represent the revitalisation of Asia and also make a global impact.   "I have been accorded gracious hospitality since my
colleagues and me arrived in Delhi, I think we can do that as we are friends, friends forever," he added.

 Singling out language as an important tool to bridge barriers between the two countries, he said, "In my view
language is a very useful tool. It is a tool for heart-to- heart communication and it works as a bridge between the two countries". Appreciating the CBSE for introducing Mandarin Chinese in the curriculum, he said, "I see it as a very important decision and it will help in strengthening the relations between the two countries".