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Xi gets a taste of Gujarati culture @ Sabarmati

Last updated on: September 17, 2014 22:24 IST

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who kicked off his India visit on Wednesday from Gujarat, visited the Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad where Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted him a copy of the Gita written in Chinese language.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, holding umbrella watch a cultural performance as they walk on the Sabarmati River front in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Credit: PTI Photo

Xi was received by Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel on the gates of tranquil Sabarmati Ashram, located in the Sabarmati suburb adjoining the Ashram Road, on the banks of river Sabarmati.

Modi and Patel offered cotton garlands to Xi and accompanied him to different rooms in the ashram which was home of the Mahatma for about 12 years and his wife Kasturba Gandhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. Credit: PTI Photo

Later, Xi paid homage to an idol of Gandhi there. 

The Chinese President wore an Indian look as he was attired in an off-white khadi jacket presented to him by Modi soon after his arrival.

The Chinese President and Modi spent a few minutes at Hriday Kunj in the Ashram, where Xi operated the 'charkha' (spinning wheel).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan admiring a lion statue on the Sabarmati River front in Ahmedabad. Credit: PTI Photo

Modi also explained Gandhi's writings in Hindi and English, to the Chinese President on the occasion.

According to the trustees of Sabarmati Ashram, Xi wrote in Chinese in the visitors' book. 

"The Sabarmati Ashram Trust presented a replica of the charkha, originally used by Gandhi during his stay in Yervada jail near Pune, to the Chinese President. Xi was also given a copy of the original certificate, given to Gandhi by the people of Chinese origin in South Africa in 1915," said trustee of the Ashram Kartikeya Sarabhai.

Chinese President Xi Jinping fills the visitors' book at Gandhi Ashram. Credit: Press Information Bureau

Xi also visited Gandhi's personal room 'Hridayakunj' and offered a cotton garland to Gandhi's picture. 

Modi also presented mementos, including books and a painting on Gandhi, to Xi on the occasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch a cultural performance as they walk on the Sabarmati River front. Credit: PTI Photo

Xi and the First Lady later visited the Sabarmati riverfront and were accompanied by the Prime Minister. 

They witnessed glimpses of Gujarati culture. 

The two leaders sat on a jhoola (swing) for a few moments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on a jhoola at the Sabarmati waterfront. Credit: Press Information Bureau

The President and his wife also sat on a traditional cot, before joining Modi for a private dinner on the riverfront.

Dinner was laid out in a massive white Swiss tent right on the riverfront. A 150-dish Gujarati banquet was served. On the menu were traditional delicacies like Khaman and Dhokla.

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