New Delhi: ‘’India and China are friends,’’ this was the message ‘’Grandpa Wen’’ had for Indian students during an interaction with them which included a lesson in calligraphy, a discussion on Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and the importance of language as a bridge between civilizations.
“He is so cool…so kind,” was how students of the capital’s Tagore International School, who interacted with an exceedingly genial and pleasant Chinese Premier, de-scribed him.
Wen hit it off with the students right away when asked by a 12th grader whether he could be called Grandpa Wen, he smiled and said: “Yes.” Later, he added that most of the children back home call him exactly that and he was extremely fond of kids and found himself very comfortable in their company.
Asked by another student whether the Chinese students knew about Rabindranath Tagore, the Chinese Premier said, and the “sage poet” (Tagore) was a household name in China. “The older generation of literary giants in China has been deeply influenced by him.”
Wen went on to enumerate Tagore’s many works, including Gitanjali, and then quipped with a twinkle in his eyes, “So how do you grade me,” to which the students and teachers replied, “ten on ten.”
He said India and China are two very populous countries of the world, which also have very an-cient civilizations.
“Friendship bet-ween our two countries has a time-honored history, which can be dated back to 2,000 years,” he said, adding that since the establishment of dip-lomatic ties between the two countries — in particular the last 10 years — the friendship between the two countries has made significant progress.
The Chinese premier said that the students in China feel Sino-Indian friendship will represent the revitalization of Asia and also make a global impact.
“I have been accorded gracious hospitality since my colleagues and me arrived in Delhi, I think we can do that as we are friends, friends forever,” he added.