Culture Connects: India, France bond over yoga, Ayurveda, urban heritage

Paris the Beautiful, beloved of poets, boulevardiers, philosophers and painters. Paris has long been regarded as the cultural capital of Europe, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip would not be complete without forging enduring cultural connections.
The mutual cultural attractions spurred India and France to sign four pacts on preservation and showcasing of urban heritage, the promotion of traditional medicines like Ayurveda and promotion of tourism.
Preservation and promotion of Indian heritage has been on Prime Minister Modi’s agenda since he took office. Remodeling of the Sabarmati river front, his intention to renovate Varansai on the lines of Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto, cleaning of river Ganga (Namami Gange), all come within the rubric of rejuvenating cities, while preserving their cultural component. This feature is very prominent in European cities, and exemplified in Paris.
France has been a pioneer in conservation of monuments, excavations, collection of artefacts and very importantly, making cultural awareness a part of the public psyche. The French ethos holds art and culture in very high esteem, and public reverence and pride attached with their country’s unique culture showcases this unique heritage. Noting this there have been agreements to develop social capital by training a diverse range of professionals. The agreements included a pact on training Indian heritage professionals between the Ministries of Culture.

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