Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hailed the “deep friendly and historical relationship” with Thailand and talked about the similarities between the two cultures as he addressed thousands of people of Indian origin in Bangkok.
The Prime Minister was addressing the Indian community in Bangkok’s Nimibutr Stadium at the ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ event. “You are of Indian origin also because you can find familiarity in every particle of Thailand. There is a glimpse of Indianness in the way people talk, its food, in its traditions, faith and architecture,” he said amid chants of Modi, Modi.
‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ is being organised by Thai Indians along with the Indian embassy in Bangkok. “Sawasdee”, derived from Sanskrit svasti or well being, is the word Thai people use for greetings and goodbye.
“The ties between India and Thailand are not just between the two governments. Every moment and event in history has developed and broadened our relationship and taken it to new heights. These relationships are of the heart, of soul, faith and spirituality,” he said.
“Thousands of years ago, ties with South East Asia developed through sea routes and our sailors then travelled thousands of miles on the waves of the sea to build bridges of prosperity and culture that still exist,” he said.
Before his address in Hindi, the Prime Minister also released a commemorative coin marking the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and the Thai translation of Tamil classic ‘Tirukkural’ written by Thiruvalluvar.
Saturday’s event comes after the mega ‘Howdy, Modi!’ outreach programme in the US’ Houston on September 23 attended by more than 50,000 people. US president Donald Trump was also present at the event.
Modi is in Thailand on a three-day visit to take part in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asia, and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summits. Prime Minister Modi will co-chair the 16th ASEAN-India summit alongside Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday.
In a statement before his departure, the Prime Minister said that during the visit, he will also hold bilateral meetings with a number of other world leaders present in the Thailand capital for related summit meetings.
“The ASEAN-related summits are an integral part of our diplomatic calendar, and an important element in our Act East Policy. Our partnership with ASEAN is built around the key pillars of connectivity, capacity-building, commerce and culture,” he had said.