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On 21st June, H.E Javed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India at Singapore, spoke on “Transcending Boundaries – The Power of India’s Cultural Heritage” at the virtual Spotlight Series. Speaking off the cuff from the High Commission of India, on a Sunday which was coincidentally International Day of Yoga, he spoke with eloquence and depth on the enduring power and potential of the ancient transcending Indic traditions and culture through language, ideology, philosophy, religion, customs and traditions to the rest of Asia and in particular, the specific influences to South East Asia, including Singapore. He shared via a multi-visual slide show with a collage of photographs taken by him personal to depict the multi-cultural vibrancy of Singapore that he had experienced first-hand and subsequently changed his impression of Singapore positively. In the communities he had engaged, the religious activities he had participated in, he found cultural elements embedded in them. He felt that Indian culture and heritage can continue to build dialogue and bridges for long-lasting friendship and camaraderie between India and Singapore. This session was attended by over 80 participants including those from Europe, especially French-Indian arts organisers who are anticipating his impending arrival and are looking forward to support from the Government of India for Indian cultural exchange in France. It was a pleasure hearing his views, many of our students and participants were encouraged to hear his positive words, especially during this difficult global pandemic.

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