Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mamallapuram, wearing Tamil Nadu’s traditional veshti (dhoti). Modi, who reached Mamallapuram ahead of Xi by a chopper, received the Chinese leader at Arjuna’s penance monument.
Attired in a striking Tamil traditional ‘karai veshti’ (dhoti with a border in green), angavastram (a shawl), and a half sleeve white shirt, the Prime Minister shook hands with Xi as the two leaders exchanged pleasantries.
The Chinese leader wore a full sleeve white shirt and black trousers.
Pattali Makkal Katchi founder leader S Ramadoss said the Prime Minister donning veshti, the traditional dress of Tamils, was a thing of joy.
“Let the world know the culture of Tamils,” he said in his twitter handle.
Karnataka Culture and Toursim Minister C T Ravi tweeted: “Respecting the Culture and Traditions of the Land He visits comes naturally to PM @narendramodi. He is seen here comfortably moving around in the traditional attire of Tamil Makkal (meaning people).”
Later, as he conversed with his Chinese counterpart at the Five Rathas monument, the Prime Minister offered a tender coconut to the visiting foreign dignitary and the two leaders relished the drink, considered good for health.
Earlier, Xi was treated to Tamil cultural performances by folk dancers and Bharatanatyam artistes while scores of children greeted him by waving Indian and Chinese flags as he arrived here and later drove to seaside resort town of Mamallapuram on Friday.
The Chinese president was accorded a red carpet welcome at the airport here on his arrival and received by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minsiter O Panneerselvam and Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal.
About 500 Tamil folk artistes rendered performances, including “tappattam,” and “poi kal kuthirai” while a group of colourfully dressed women presented a Bharatanatyam programme to the accompaniment of ‘thavil’ and ‘nadaswaram’ (traditional percussion and wind instruments respectively) music.
A smiling Xi waved at the artistes as he paused briefly before moving on slowly.
Temple priests with traditional honours greeted him before he boarded his car.