Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, clad in traditional Tamil Nadu’ veshti-sattai’ and ‘angavastharam’ greeted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram.
At a time when Twitter is trending with #GoBackModi, the PM's attire symbolising Tamil culture seems to have gone down well with those who were watching everything in their television sets.
Dressed in a black trouser and white shirt, the Chinese Premiere and Modi visited the UNESCO world heritage site at Mahabalipuram — Arjuna’s penance. After exchanging pleasantries, they had a walk around the heritage sites, observing the Five Rathas.
Narendra Modi donned the role of a tourist guide, explaining everything about the monuments in Mahabalipuram to Xi Jinping. Modi was seen explaining the historical importance of this site built by the Pallavas during the seventh century. They sat together and drank tender coconuts.
According to UNESCO, this group of sanctuaries was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the seventh and eighth centuries. Later, the two leaders witnessed a cultural programme by the famed Kalakshetra troupe, before participating in the dinner hosted by Modi.
Modi’s Tamil attire follows his speech at the recent UN General Assembly. Modi highlighted India’s message of inclusiveness, quoting the Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar who lived some three millennia ago. At the Howdy-Modi event in Houston in the USA, Modi greeted the audience in Tamil saying, “Ellarum sowkiyam”.