India and Vietnam, two countries with a remarkable historical connection dating back nearly two millennia, have been nurturing a deep and enduring bond grounded in shared cultural and spiritual elements. In a recent diplomatic gesture that underscores their historical and cultural ties, India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, unveiled a bust of the Nobel Laureate writer and poet Rabindranath Tagore in Bac Ninh city. This significant event serves as a testament to the lasting relationship and mutual respect that India and Vietnam share, further fostering diplomatic and cultural ties between these two nations.
The historical and cultural connections between India and Vietnam have been enriched by the introduction of Buddhism, literary exchange, and the profound influence of Rabindranath Tagore. The inauguration of Tagore’s bust in Bac Ninh city stands as a symbol of the enduring relationship between the two nations and their shared heritage, paving the way for a brighter future in terms of diplomatic and cultural cooperation.
Historical records reveal the significant role played by Indian monks in introducing Buddhism to Vietnam, creating a foundation for a shared spiritual heritage that continues to unite the two nations. An enduring symbol of this age-old connection is the Bodhi tree, a gift from President Rajendra Prasad to President Ho Chi Minh in 1959, which continues to represent the strong link between India and Vietnam.
Rabindranath Tagore’s famous work, “Gitanjali,” was translated into Vietnamese and published in 2001, bridging the cultural gap and bringing Tagore’s poetic brilliance to Vietnamese readers. Historical records also indicate that Tagore visited Ho Chi Minh City in 1929, leaving a profound socio-cultural impact on Vietnam. His “Gitanjali” earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, making him the first non-European to receive this prestigious award and continuing to connect India and Vietnam through their shared admiration for his literary genius.
In recognition of this deep admiration for Tagore, Vietnam issued a postal stamp in his honor in 1982, showcasing the nation’s respect for the poet. During his visit, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar expressed his deep appreciation for the reverence shown to Tagore in Vietnam and expressed the belief that the unveiling of the bust of Gurudev Tagore will contribute to the international character of Bac Ninh city.
As both India and Vietnam continue to strengthen their diplomatic and cultural connections, these historical and cultural bonds serve as a testament to the enduring ties between the two nations and their shared appreciation for the legacy of Rabindranath Tagore.