Sounds of India wow Chinese President Xi Jinping

Sounds of India wow Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chenda Melam (Kerala's percussion instruments) artists prepare to welcome China's President Xi Jinping in Chennai on October 11, 2019, ahead of a summit with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) to be held at world heritage site of Mahabalipuram from October 11 to 12 in Tamil Nadu state. (AFP Photo)

From the traditional Bharatanatyam to Nagaswaram to folk arts of Mayilattam, Thapattam, Karakattam to Nashik dhol to Kerala’s very own Sendai Melam – Chennai and Mamallapuram reverberated with diverse sounds of India as a red carpet was rolled out for the visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi, whose special aircraft landed at the Chennai Airport a little before 2 pm, was visibly pleased as hundreds of artists performed various dance forms and folk art at the tarmac and waved at them as a sign of acknowledgement of the warm welcome.

He stood for a minute before presenters of every performance, but did not receive the traditional Poorana Kumbam, the highest respect, offered by the famous Sri Kabaleeswarar Temple due to “lack of communication”.

The Chinese officer who was guiding Xi through the performance did not brief Xi as the President looked at priests of the temple and went straight to his car. The priests had come to the airport to accord him the highest respect offered to devotees, though Xi professes in Communism that denounces God.

India’s cultural prowess was at rich display through the 5-km route that Xi took to reach the luxurious five-star deluxe hotel, ITC Grand Chola, as hundreds of people stood along both sides of the road which were decorated with arches made of fruits, vegetables, banana trees and sugarcanes.

People lined up on the roads holding flags of India and China and with posters symbolising the friendship between the two Asian giants. School students also stood in long queues even as Chinese nationals working in the city too thronged the airport area to take a glimpse at their president.

And Xi also got a glimpse of the cultural heritage of India during his hour-long road journey to Mamallapuram from Chennai via the IT Corridor that houses some of the biggest software firms in the world and the scenic East Coast Road (ECR). He was accorded a warm welcome at 35 locations.