Gulabi meenakari brooch to ittar bottles: PM Modi’s gifts to G7 leaders a slice of Indian crafts

During the G7 meeting in Germany, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a brooch and Jalabi Meenakari’s cufflink to US President Joe Biden. The cufflinks are custom made for the president with matching brooch for the first lady.

The Prime Minister has taken a large number of these artistic gifts to each of the G7 leaders.

Gulabi Meenakari is an art form of Varanasi tagged GI in Uttar Pradesh. A piece of pure silver is cast in the shape of a base, and the design chosen is engraved into the metal.

While pieces of black pottery from Nizamabad were gifted to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, a Nandi-themed art piece sourced from Chhattisgarh was presented to Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, and a hand-painted tea set from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh was dedicated to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The gifts celebrated India’s diversity; what made the selection significant was that they were not particularly expensive items but a celebration of India’s artisanal traditions,” said a source familiar with the selection.

🚨 Limited time offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2 per day Click here to subscribe 🚨

Other leaders in the powerful group also received personalized and carefully selected gifts. French President Emmanuel Macron was given a selection of Ittar bottles of Kannauj from UP which were packaged in a custom-made zardozi box, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was given an Agra-origin marble table top, while President of Senegal Macky Sall was presented with a set of Mung and cotton baskets obtained from Prayagraj, Amithi and Sultanpur in UP. A hand-knotted silk rug from Kashmir was gifted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while German Chancellor Olaf Schulz-Matka was given a Moradabad metal sculpture.

Behind the selection, there was also an effort to find common bonds and celebrate shared traditions. For example, to celebrate the common Ramayana links between India and Indonesia, Prime Minister Varnish Ram Darbar gifted Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The lacquer art form tagged GI has its roots in the temple city of Varanasi in UP. The Indonesian version of the Ramayana – known as the Kakawin Ramayana – is believed to have been written during the Medang Kingdom (8-11 centuries) in Central Java. Likewise, marble inlay has its origins in Opus sectile – a form of pietra dura common in the ancient and medieval Roman world in which material was cut and inlayed into walls and floors to make an image or inscription.

Prime Minister’s Office refers to the idea or choice before an official visit. The items are then shortlisted and selected accordingly,” the source added.

Leave a Comment