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  • Writer's pictureAnustup Kundu

Indian Friends Travel to Shanghai to Follow in Tagore's Footsteps

News Desk, News Nation 360 : The well-known Indian poet, writer, philosopher, and social reformer Rabindranath Tagore arrived in Shanghai on April 12, 1924, starting a journey across China that lasted more than 50 days. The journey was made a century ago. Six academics and artists from India visited Shanghai from April 14 to 16, 2024, as part of a mission to "Retrace the Footsteps of Tagore," in remembrance of this momentous occasion. The Indian delegation participated in cultural exchanges at Shanghai Jinyuan Senior High School and Shanghai Municipal Archives while they were in Shanghai. They also honoured locations like Siming Villa and the Huishan Wharf Site that had a special meaning for Tagore during his earlier trips and stays in the city. They paid their respects to the Tagore statue at the intersection of Nanchang Road and Maoming Road. Additionally, the delegation took part in the Tongji University event. A half-body bronze statue of Tagore stands silently inside the street centre garden at the intersection of Nanchang Road and Maoming South Road in Shanghai. Souraja Tagore came up to the statue and made a profoundly respectful gesture. In a gesture of respect and prayer, she took off her shoes and put her hands

together in the traditional Indian manner. She bowed to honour her ancestor's likeness and then placed a bouquet at the base of the statue made of peonies, jasmine, purple lilies, and wild chrysanthemums. Souraja, a descendant of the Tagore family, was surrounded by poetry as a child. She said every flower she has just offered has found its place within his verse. She feels closer to him right now. Upon setting foot on China’s soil a hundred years ago, Tagore stated "I'm not sure why, but visiting China feels familiar." His sombre parting statement after departing China was, "My heart stays." During his life, Tagore made three trips to Shanghai. The passenger liner he boarded would arrive and dock at Hongkou's Huishan Wharf. He lived at Siming Villa when he was in Shanghai. Following the poet's path to Siming Villa and Huishan Wharf, the Indian delegation's delegates also found themselves thinking back on the springtime events of a century ago. The degree to which Shanghai has maintained the Tagore memorial sites moves me greatly. The city will always hold a special place in the hearts, just as it did for him during his time in China. During the visit, Souraja Tagore imparted “two lessons”. The first involved teaching dance to students from Shanghai Jinyuan Senior High School, and the second involved teaching foreign students at Tongji University's International School. It was the same song, and the same youthful faces on both occasions. Young people hold great promise for both China and India's future, as well as for Asia as a whole. Director General Xu Weiwan gave the guests a tour of the archive collection at the Shanghai Municipal Archives. Together, she and Baisakhi Mitra, Curator of the Rabindra Bharati Museum in Kolkata, examined the path of future collaboration while reflecting on the history of collaboration between the two museums in the planning and construction of the Chinese Section of the Tagore Museum. The goal of the Indian delegation's visit to China, according to Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, a former vice chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, was to carry out Tagore's "mission" and encourage amicable cooperation between China and India while moving in tandem with one another.


Pic - Courtesy

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