Russian students enthral Prez Patil with Hindi program
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 06, 2009, 11:12
St Petersburg (Russia): A Russian school that teaches Hindi and also has the Indian classical dance and music as part of its curriculum has come in for praise by President Pratibha Patil, who described it as a symbol of the friendship between the two countries.

Patil was pleasantly surprised to witness the children of the school no 653 here present a colourful cultural programme in Hindi to coincide with the Teachers' Day Saturday night.

Beginning the programme with a Bharatnatyam performance, the Russian children also presented a Hindi song 'Ek Tu Hi Bharosa, Ek Tu Hi Sahara' (You are the only hope, you are the only support) and a Rajasthani folk dance.

This institute "is a tribute to our great leaders who decided to establish this school which till today continues to be a symbol of the India-Russia friendship," the President, who was here as part of her five-day visit to Russia, said.

She said India always considered the people of Russia as its true friends.

As a token of appreciation, Patil also announced donation of books, computer software and a digital projector to the school, which was set up in 1957 on the 10th anniversary of India's Independence Day.

A decision to establish the school was taken after an official visit by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the USSR and a return visit by General Secretary of USSR Nikita Khrushchov to India.

This is the only school in the North-West region of Russia where Hindi is taught to students from class two onwards. Classical Indian music and dance are also part of the school's curriculum.

During her day-long visit to St Petersburg yesterday, Patil also visited the world-renowned Hermitage Museum, which houses a collection of more than three million works of art. Among them are paintings, graphics, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.

The main architectural ensemble of the Hermitage consists of the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors.

Patil also had meetings with acting Governor Alexander Vakhmistrov and President's Representative to the North West Region Ilya Klebanov.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, September 06, 2009, 11:12

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