DSC Jaipur Literature Festival yesterday saw a unique cultural collaboration between two diverse countries. At Asia’s largest literature festivals, vice-president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Syed Shahid Mahdi, unveiled the Arabic version of the Ramayana translated by famed Lebanese poet, Wadi-al-Bustani. The book, titled Ramayana, will promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of each other’s spiritual heritage.
Syed Shahid Mahdi stressed the importance of cultural cooperation between India and the Arabic world, as he welcomed the delegates from Kalima, the Abu Dhabi translation and publishing initiative. Speaking at the launch, he said that “every culture has a Ramayana”, meaning that every society has its own great works of spiritual illumination and it is a profound act of humanity to share each other’s most powerful stories.
Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale received the first copy of the book, and stressed the “importance of sharing secular values through the translation of the great epics, which represent both Indian faith and mythic imagination”. Suresh Goel, president, ICCR, was also present at the occasion.
By bring the Ramayana to the world through this initiative, the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival has helped create a bridge between two cultures, with the objective of fostering long-term cultural interaction and mutual understanding.