Ireland PM visits ancestral village in Maharashtra

Ireland PM visits ancestral village in Maharashtra

For Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar it was Christmas and New Year festivities together in India.

"It was a very special moment," said a smiling Vadarkar said after being felicitated in Varad village.

The 40-year-old Varadkar's father Ashok Varadkar is from Mumbai and his mother Miriam is from the United Kingdom.

The Varadkars originally hail from Varad in Malvan tehsil in Sindhudurg district of coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra.

After to took over as the Irish premiere in June 2017, the Varadkar family based in Maharashtra had expressed the desire that he visits India. His father, a doctor, who moved to the UK in the late 60s, too wanted him to go to his roots.

Varadkar arrived in Goa on Saturday, and drove to Malvan on Sunday and spent overnight with the family. He also visited the temple of the village deity and took a walk in the coastal village. Later, he left for Goa, from where he would fly back to Ireland.

The entire family – his father Ashok Varadkar and his mother Miriam, sisters - Sofia and her husband Cainan, their children Nicholas and Susannah, and Sonia with her husband Johny and their kids Alex and Eric – besides Leo Varadkar’s partner Matt, were present.

"I am here with my parents, my sisters and their husbands, my partner and some grandchildren are here...so it is a big family visit," the Ireland PM said, adding that it was a "special moment" for him and his family. "I would like to visit again," he added.

There was no official protocol and he was in jeans and shirts, smiling and greeting the villagers with a "namaste" and mingling with them.

The Varadfamily made “a classical Malvani feast” for Leo which include pomfret cooked in Malvani style, the Konkani chicken rassa, with rice, chapatis, local mango pickles and dry chutneys.

“Leo Varadkar has come to India earlier at least four times, but this is for the travelled to the remote Varad,” his Mumbai-based relative Dipti Bhosale-Varadkar told reporters.

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