It is Sunday evening in New Delhi, India. As the sun begins to set, a refreshing November wind blows, and a swarm of people flies into the magnificent historical fort of Delhi, Purana Qila. The fort looks more vibrant than usual, with colourful lanterns strung up on the trees and a dazzling stage set up in the middle for the ASEAN-India Music Festival 2022.
Poonam Adnani had just finished her fourth event of the day when she talked with The ASEAN. It was ten days after Diwali, and many in Jakarta were still celebrating.
Adnani’s parents moved to Indonesia in the 1950s. She was born and raised in Bandung, and her family is part of a sizeable Indian diaspora community that settled in the country.
Sixty-five-year-old Adnani has been in the party business for more than two decades. It is not an overstatement to say that she has become one of the most wanted Indian-themed party organisers in Jakarta.
Southeast Asia is home to many generations of the Indian diaspora. Although they live far away from their ancestors’ land, many have kept their vibrant customs and traditions alive.
ASEAN citizens now have an opportunity to study in India, thanks to the Doctoral Fellowship in India programme.
The 3rd ASEAN-India Grassroots Innovation Forum 2022 was held on 19-21 December 2022 at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The threeday forum served as a platform for participants from ASEAN and Indian communities to share experiences and best practices in grassroots innovation.
The 4th ASEAN-India Workshop on Blue Economy was successfully held on 1516 December 2022 in New Delhi, India. With the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability,” the workshop highlighted the importance of collective action to ensure the sustainable and rules-based use and management of oceans, seas, and their resources.
Nineteen media professionals from 10 ASEAN Member States visited India to learn more about ASEAN-India ties through the 2022 ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme.
Living and studying at Nalanda University made Yuni Saputri reminisce about her high school life. She was a student at an Islamic boarding school or pesantren in her hometown in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Like in Nalanda University, students and teachers in a pesantren live around the school area. However, the 26-year-old said that the temperature significantly differs between Banda Aceh and Rajgir, India, where she lives now.
The Phoenix is an apt metaphor to depict the revived Nalanda University. Like this mythical bird, the historic campus was resurrected after being burned down to ashes. According to the university’s website, historical findings revealed that ancient Nalanda had a remarkable life lasting 800 years from the fifth to the twelfth century CE.
After a gap of hundreds of years, the new avatar of Nalanda University opened its doors for the first batch of students in 2014, around 12 kilometres from the original site. The restored Nalanda University is again aiming to become an icon for a new Asian convergence, a creative space and a centre of inter-civilisational dialogue for future generations.
The university is built upon a foundational philosophy that seeks to re-establish lost connections in the Asian region. The ideal is shared among students and teachers. Surrounded by the picturesque Rajgir Hills of Bihar State, India, wisdom seekers from all over the world have come to deepen their knowledge at this monumental location.
Stretching around 450 acres, Nalanda University students come from 31 countries, including ASEAN Member States. They are recipients of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarship and the Nalanda University ASEAN Scholarship scheme. The ASEAN interviewed two of them to learn about their stories.
The ASEAN-India cultural and civilisational linkages form a solid bedrock for the connection between the ASEAN Member States and Nalanda University to flourish. The shift from the Look East Policy to the Act East Policy by the government of India, underlining the policy of connectivity, culture, and commerce, accelerates the momentum of this engagement.
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