New Delhi: "India and China are friends",
this was the message "Grandpa Wen" had for Indian students
during an interaction with them which included a lesson in
calligraphy, a discussion on Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath
Tagore and the importance of language as a bridge between
"He is so cool...so kind," was how students of the
capital`s Tagore International School, who interacted with an
exceedingly genial and pleasant Chinese premier described him.
Wen hit it off with the students right away when asked
by a 12th grader whether he could be called Grandpa Wen, he
smiled and said "yes". Later, he added that most of the
children back home call him exactly that and he was extremely
fond of kids and found himself very comfortable in their
Asked by another student whether the Chinese students
knew about Rabindranath Tagore, the Chinese Premier said, the
"sage poet" (Tagore) was a household name in China. "The older
generation of literary giants in China have been deeply
influenced by him".
Wen went on to enumerate Tagore`s many works, including
`Gitanjali`, and then quipped with a twinkle in his eyes "so
how do you grade me" to which the students and teachers
replied "ten on ten".
He said India and China are two very populous countries
of the world which also have very ancient civilisations.
"Friendship between our two countries has a time-honoured
history which can be dated back to 2,000 years," he said
adding that since the establishment of diplomatic ties between
the two countries -- in particular the last ten years-- the
friendship between the two countries has made significant
The Chinese premier said that the students in China
feel Sino-Indian friendship will represent the revitalisation
of Asia and also make a global impact.
"I have been accorded gracious hospitality since my
colleagues and me arrived in Delhi, I think we can do that as
we are friends, friends forever," he added.
Singling out language as an important tool to bridge
barriers between the two countries, he said, "In my view
language is a very useful tool. It is a tool for heart-to-
heart communication and it works as a bridge between the two
Appreciating the CBSE for introducing Mandarin Chinese in
the curriculum, he said, "I see it as a very important
decision and it will help in strengthening the relations
between the two countries".
The Chinese premier, both of whose parents were
teachers, soon got up to teach the students four words in
calligraphy both in the traditional manner which is right to
left and the modern one which is left to right.
"India and China are friends", he wrote.
Chinese calligraphy (the art of fancy lettering) is a
form of calligraphy widely practised and revered in China,
Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
The East Asian calligraphic tradition originated and
developed from China.
The Tagore International school, Vasant Vihar, has an
exchange programme with the Jinyuan Senior High School,
Shanghai, which includes video-conferenced yoga lessons for
Chinese students and calligraphy lessons for their Indian
Wen also gifted 1000 books on Chinese language to the