Wednesday, September 29, 2010

80 years later, Russia recalls tryst with Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore visited Russia in 1930 and recorded his impressions in Letters. A Russian Bengali scholar recalls what the many-sided poet means to Russians Rabindranath Tagore visited Russia in 1930.

A Russian scholar, who teaches Bengali, recalls her love affair with iconic Indian poet and what he means to Russians India will be formally marking the 150th birthday anniversary of iconic poet-philosopher Rabindranath Tagore next May.

The celebrations have already begun in Shantiniketan, the university founded by the sage poet in West Bengal, with spirited renditions of songs, dances and plays composed by the bard. Russia, however, is celebrating its tryst with the Nobel laureate in September this year. It’s exactly eighty years since Tagore visited the Soviet Union in 1930, an appropriate time to look back at the man, his legacy, his connection with Russia and how Russians see this many-sided polymath.

For many Indians, Tagore is more than just a writer and poet: he is a symbol of its cultural glory and renaissance, the first Indian to win international literary acclaim. He penned India’s national anthem, and, has the unique distinction of having authored national anthems of two sovereign countries. Tagore’s song (‘Aamaar sonar Baanglaa’: My Golden Bengal) first became the anthem of liberation for the people of Eastern Pakistan, and then became the national anthem of a free Bangladesh.

Full report here Oye! Times

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