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Business News/ News / India/  From Banarsi silk to Andhra's premium Araku coffee, take a look at Indian souvenirs gifted to G20 leaders
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From Banarsi silk to Andhra's premium Araku coffee, take a look at Indian souvenirs gifted to G20 leaders

Indian PM Narendra Modi presented G20 leaders and their spouses with handcrafted artifacts representing India's rich culture, including Kashmiri Pashmina stoles, Assam stoles, Kanjivaram stoles, Banarasi silk stoles, etc

The long list of souvenirs presented to G20 leaders on their departures includes artefacts from across the nationPremium
The long list of souvenirs presented to G20 leaders on their departures includes artefacts from across the nation

G20 Summit concluded with a successful adoption of declaration after bringing all the G20 leaders into common ground. Apart from the diplomatic success, the whole summit served as a platform to highlight India's rich culture and heritage.

G20 summit's main aim was to introduce the global leaders with India's rich culture and heritage. The long list of souvenirs gifted to G20 leaders successfully served the purpose. Leaders who joined the summit were gifted with Indian artefacts and items like Banarsi silk shawl, Andhra's premium Arakku coffee, Pashmina shawl, Kashmiri saffron, Ziggrana itar, and what not.

Kashmiri Pashmina stole

Reflecting centuries of cultural tradition of Kashmir, Pashmina Stole was gifted to the spouse of Brazil President Lula da Silva, Rosângela da Silva. The beautiful stole was gfted in a Papier Mache box.

The stole carries enchanting tales of Kashmir's culture. It is made from the wool obtainef from specific Himalayan goat. The stole is a symbol of royalty, and has been a top choice of empresses as well as modern fashion icons.

Not just the gift but the box also narrates the royal culture of Jammu and Kashmir. A masterpiece of craftsmanship, the papier mache is made from a mixture of paper pulp, rice straw and copper sulphate.

Assam stole in Kadam Wood box

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted an Assam stole in a Kadam Wood Box to Iriana Joko Widodo, the spouse of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Assam stoles are traditional pieces of clothing woven in the northeastern state of Assam. This stole has been crafted by skilled artisans using Muga silk. These stoles are known for their intricate designs and motifs that often draw inspiration from the region's natural surroundings, often showcasing elements like flora and fauna.

PM Modi further presented Kanjivaram Stole to Yuko Kishida, the spouse of his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida. Kanjivaram silk creations are a true masterpiece of Indian weaving, renowned for their rich and vibrant colours, intricate designs, and unparalleled craftsmanship.

‘Kanjivaram’ derives its name from a small south Indian village – Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, from where the craft originated. The stole is handcrafted from pure mulberry silk threads, by skilled weavers who have inherited the tradition and techniques from their ancestors. It is a very durable and strong fabric.

Furthermore, PM Modi presented an elegant Banarasi stole to the spouse of the UK's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Akshata Murty in Kadam Wood Box.

Banarsi silk stole

Banarasi silk stoles are India's elegant treasures. Handcrafted in Varanasi, they're soft like dreams. Luxurious silk threads create intricate patterns, reflecting the city's cultural richness and its weaving heritage.

Banarasi silk stoles are adored for weddings and special occasions. They add a regal grace to the wearer. Their shimmering texture and vibrant hues make them coveted fashion accessories. Whether draped over shoulders or worn as headscarves, these stoles exude timeless charm. ‘Banarsi’ is one of the most prized possessions in the wardrobe of every well-dressed woman in the sub-continent.

This stole was presented in a Kadam wood box. Kadam (Burflower tree) wood is considered auspicious in Indian culture and features in Indian religions and mythologies. This box has been handcrafted by the artisans of Karnataka.

Moreover, PM Modi further extended the gift to the spouse of Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth, Kobita Ramdanee. He presented the Iakkat Stole packed in the Teak Wood Box.

Ikkat Stole is a timeless masterpiece created by the artisans of Odisha – this is a traditional mulberry silk stole adorned with the exquisite Ikat technique. ‘Ikat’ is a meticulous dyeing process on silk or cotton. It involves tying and dying specific sections of threads to produce a symphony of shades while keeping the tied portions untouched.

Presented in a Teak wood box, the stole has been handcrafted by artisans of Gujarat using the hardy and durable teak wood.

PM Modi presented a Banarasi Silk Stole in an Ebony Jali Box to the spouse of Argentina's President Alberto Fernández, Marcela Luchetti.

Banarasi silk stoles are India's elegant treasures. Handcrafted in Varanasi, they're soft like dreams. Luxurious silk threads create intricate patterns, reflecting the city's cultural richness and its weaving heritage.

Khadi scarf

The other handcrafted artefacts included a Khadi scarf, Sheeshamwood Sandook with Brass Patti, Araku Coffee, Kashmir Saffron and many more.

Khadi Scarf originated from India and Khadi is an eco-friendly clothing material most beloved for its beautiful texture and versatility throughout the seasons. It can be spun into life from cotton, silk, jute or wool. It is also one of the most important symbols of India’s freedom struggle. In fact, its name was coined by Mahatma Gandhi himself.

The rural artisans of India, comprising 70 per cent women, hand spin and hand-weave these intricate threads into the ultimate fashion statements adorned across the globe. From its beginnings on the spinning wheel during India’s independence movement to today being a marker of high quality and luxury, khadi has been epitomizing sustainable fashion for decades.

Kashmiri saffron

The present also included the most exotic spice in the world, Saffron from Kashmir. Saffron (‘Zafran’ in Persian, ‘Kesar’ in Hindi) is the most expensive spice in the world. Across cultures and civilizations, saffron has been valued for its unparalleled culinary and medicinal value.

It is a treasure of nature, both rare and enticing. Each strand of it comprises the stigma of ‘Saffron Crocus’. The stigma's crimson hue holds the concentrated essence of sun-soaked days and cool nights. Cultivating saffron is a very labour-intensive process. It requires the delicate hand-harvesting of thousands of flowers (each flower contains three crimson stigmas) to yield a mere ounce of the spice.

Kashmiri Saffron stands as a true embodiment of exclusivity and exceptional quality. Its intense aromatic profile, vibrant colour and unmatched potency set it apart. This is due to the crisp air, abundant sunlight and well-drained soil of Kashmir, which yields saffron with a higher concentration of essential oils.

Apart from being a luxurious and sought-after culinary spice, saffron is abundantly rich in antioxidants and provides many health benefits.

Nilgiri Tea and Araku coffee

Another present was the Pekoe Darjeeling and Nilgiri Tea. Pekoe Darjeeling and Nilgiri Tea are two illustrious gems from Bharat’s tea tapestry, epitomizing the delicate art of tea cultivation and infusion.

Darjeeling tea is the most valued tea in the world. Only tender shoots are handpicked from shrubs, located on the misty hills of West Bengal at altitudes of 3000-5000 ft. These nuances, along with the soil’s unique character get reflected in the highly aromatic and invigorating cup that comes to your table.

Nilgiri Tea comes from the most spectacular mountain range in South Bharat. Cultivated amidst the mountains’ lush terrain at an elevation of 1000-3000 feet. The tea is relatively mild. At the same time, it is renowned for its bright and brisk liquor and clean flavour. It is a preferred choice for lemon or iced tea.

The government of India also has the world’s first terroir-mapped coffee, Araku coffee. It is grown on organic plantations in the Araku Valley of Andhra Pradesh. These coffee beans bear the essence of the valley's rich soil and temperate climate.

Pure Arabica with a rare aromatic profile, Araku Coffee is known for its unique texture and a symphony of flavours that makes for a smooth, well-balanced cup.

Sundarbans' Multiflora Mangrove Honey

One of the gifts was from the largest mangrove forest in the world, Sundarbans. Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey mirrors the bio-diversity of the area and has a distinct and rich flavour profile.

Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world, located on the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It is home to wild colonies of honeybees. Before the culture of beehive farming, people used to hunt honeycombs from the wilderness. This tradition of beehive hunting is still practised among the people of Sundarbans.

Sundarbans Multiflora Mangrove Honey blends the nectar of various mangrove flowers like Khalisha, Bani and Garan…to create a harmony of sweet and earthy notes. It is less viscous than other types of honey. Besides being 100 per cent natural and pure, Sundarban honey is also high in flavonoids and provides valuable health benefits.

Zighrana Ittar

Adding to the list of gifts, the government of India also presented Zighrana Ittar to the global leaders. Zighrana Ittar is a masterpiece of fragrance hailing from Kannauj, a city in Uttar Pradesh.

‘Ittar’ (meaning ‘perfume’) is an essential oil derived from botanical sources. It showcases a centuries-old tradition of exquisite perfume crafting. Skillfully distilled using a method passed down through generations, Ittar is an ode to precision and patience. Master artisans delicately gather rare blossoms like jasmine and roses at dawn, when their fragrance is most potent.

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Published: 12 Sep 2023, 06:52 PM IST
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