India and South Korea have reconfirmed their strong bilateral ties amidst coronavirus pandemic, said Republic of Korea’s First Lady, Kim Jung-Sook, adding that she hopes the two countries will become the “lamp that contributes to the peace and prosperity not just in Asia but around the world.”
Speaking during a webinar organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) themed ‘Weaving Relations: Textile Tradition’ on Saturday, Kim conveyed her “deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by COVID-19” and recollected the special meaning behind a replica charkha gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Gandhi Smriti during South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to India in 2018.
The webinar was organised to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle against British colonial rule through the locally made products and widespread use of khadi, a traditional textile and his yearning for world peace, according to a statement by the South Korean embassy here.
“I would like to extend my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by COVID-19. It is high time for the whole of humanity to stand together in the spirit of global solidarity. In this respect, today’s webinar as part of celebrating the noble spirit of Gandhi carries greater relevance and importance,” Kim said.
“South Korea and India celebrate the 47th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. Under the Moon administration, our two countries have worked together to further strengthen the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ built upon the two leaders’ friendship and mutual trust. In the midst of the global pandemic, we have reconfirmed our strong bilateral ties,” she said.
The first lady of South Korea also recalled Gandhi’s thoughts behind the symbolic khadi and as an avid believer in Gandhian ideas, she befittingly wore a dress made of Banarasi khadi, while delivering the opening message.
“Today’s webinar as part of celebrating the noble spirit of Gandhi carries greater relevance and importance. ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’, Gandhi once said, and he himself spun his own thread on a spinning wheel,” she said.
“The Khadi movement as well as the Swadeshi movement created lakhs of jobs for many Indians and fostered economic independence. The charkha was indeed a symbol of solidarity for independence and freedom,” she added.
She also recalled her 2018 solo trip to India, saying it was a deeply meaningful visit to witness and confirm that an ancient bond between Seoul and New Delhi.
“In November 2018, I made a solo trip to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi. I had the great pleasure of celebrating Diwali as the chief guest at the Deepotsav in Ayodhya and attending the groundbreaking ceremony of Queen Huh (Suriratna) Memorial Park. It was a deeply meaningful visit to witness and confirm that an ancient bond between Korea and India which continues to the present day will move forward into the future where our two countries will co-prosper,” she said.
Artists, master artisans, weavers, technicians from countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Bhutan, Bahrain, Thailand, Afghanistan, Belarus and Sri Lanka participated in this webinar and discussed weaving as a medium that represents Gandhi’s philosophies.