Prime Minister Narendra Modi had left for his visit to the United States on Tuesday. This is his first official state visit to the country, and the trip will conclude on June 24. Given that it is a state visit, it also includes a reception by the hosts – President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. So, we’re also focused on the gifts that were exchanged at the White House, and here’s everything you need to know.
1. PM Modi had special presents for the US president and first lady. This included a handcrafted sandalwood box which contains a silver idol of Lord Ganesha, a diya and Das Danam. Das Danam signifies donations of ten different kinds, each representing a symbolic offering. Reportedly, the box has been handcrafted by a master craftsman from Jaipur, with sandalwood sourced from Mysore.
2. The offerings include – white sesame seeds sourced from Tamil Nadu, a 24 carat pure and hallmarked gold coin, lavan or salt from Gujarat, and a handcrafted silver coconut by the artisans of West Bengal.
3. He gifted a lab-grown 7.5-carat green diamond to the US first lady – this diamond was placed in a box made of paper pulp, also known as kar-e-kalamdani. The diamond is also eco-friendly as resources like solar and wind power were used in its making.
4. He also gifted Joe Biden a copy of the first edition print of the book The Ten Principal Upanishads. The gift is special because of the US President’s admiration for the Irish poet William Butler Yeats – given that this version was published by Yeats in English in 1937 and co-authored by Purohit Swami.
Each gift represents something in terms of the culture of India, and in some ways it is a cultural exchange.