By Ayushi Agarwal The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Center in Astana organizes various activities to strengthen the ties between the two countries through Indian culture and traditions.
Central Asia is a region rich in history with a mixture of identities and ethnic groups, a diversity of landscapes and cultures. Amid glistening mountains, high plateaus, lakes, ancient cities and taller buildings, one thing that stands out for nationals of Kazakhstan is the love for Indian culture and traditions. Established in 1994, the main objective of the cultural center is to facilitate cultural activities and academic cooperation that enhance India‘s centuries-old collaboration between India and Kazakhstan. Through its activities, the center intends to strengthen interpersonal relations between the two countries. India also offers scholarships in various disciplines under the ICCR scholarship programs for students from Kazakhstan.
“About 200 nationals from Kazakhstan come to do activities here. We want to get in touch with people here in Kazakhstan and make them aware of Indian culture and traditions,” Astana cultural center director Sanjay Vedi said. Nationals of Kazakhstan regularly attend Indian dance and music classes and practice yoga, which is an integral part of ancient Indian cultural heritage.
“I love to sing Hindi songs and I really like Indian culture and tradition. I would like to learn more Hindi,” said a Kazakh national who practices Hindi singing at the center. “I have an admiration for Indian instruments like the tabla and I like dancing to Indian classical songs,” said another national from Kazakhstan.
The relationship between India and Kazakhstan is ancient and historic dating back over 2000 years. There was a constant and steady flow of trade in goods and, more importantly, the exchange of ideas and cultural influences. The flow of Buddhism from India to Central Asia and Sufi ideas from Central Asia to India are two examples.
The size of the Indian community is around 5,300 people in Kazakhstan. India was one of the first countries to recognize Kazakhstan’s independence with diplomatic relations established in February 1992. (ANI)
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