Manila, Nov 14 (IANS) To highlight the shared culture between India and southeast Asia, India will invite Ramayana troupes from all Asean member states to perform in the country of the epic's origin, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Briefing the media here after Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the 15th India-Asean Summit, Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen invoked the theme of Ramayana as a very important historical and civilisational connect between India and the Asean countries.
"He (Hun Sen) said that Ramayana is performed not only in India but all Asean countries and that Asean troupes should be invited to do their rendition of Ramayana as part of our commemorative celebrations," Saran said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the India-Asean dialogue partnership and the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Asean.
A special commemorative summit will be held in New Delhi on January 25 next year where leaders of all 10 Asean member states are expected to be present.
According to Saran, Modi welcomed Hun Sen's proposal and said that this would definitely be included as an important component.
"We would invite Ramayana troupes from all Asean countries to perform as part of the celebrations," Saran said.
Interestingly, when Modi attended the opening ceremony of the 31st Asean Summit here on Monday, a ballet company named Rama Hari presented the Filipino version of the Ramayana which is known as 'Maharadia Lawana', meaning King Ravana.
It is the Maranao version, which refers to the people living around Lake Lanao in the Philippines.