INDIA

 

On August 30, 2019, the International School Network visited the Indian Embassy to interview His Excellency Mr. Sanjay Kumar Verma.

Education
H.E. Mr. Verma noted that education in India is based on logic, reasoning, and understanding of the ecosystem. In India, students from an early age are exposed to geography and societies, allowing them to grow up as international citizens. Also, H.E. Mr. Verma noted that Indian education puts a particular emphasis on maths and sciences.

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Tradition and Culture
India is very famous for its rich history of traditions, including its festivities dating two to three years back. H.E. Mr. Verma emphasized that Indian culture has both traditional and modern aspects and that many groups of people are working to preserve their traditions, as they are a "prized collection of Indian society." There is coexistence and hybrid between Indian cultures and distinct modernities, as can be seen in clothing.

India has a heterogeneous culture, supported by the constitution, recognizing 22 languages in the country. H.E. Mr. Verma explained that Indian people share the power of tolerance and trust in the "togetherness of people."  He expressed that Indians are united and diverse in a very vibrant way. H.E. Mr. Verma noted that this is a quality that the world must appreciate and that it is the foundation of peace and harmony. 

H.E. Mr. Verma explained that Indians practice peace in two different ways: (1)peace within yourself through the practice of meditation and yoga, and (2) peace around yourself by interaction with humans, flora, and fauna. He explained that "harmony is an extension of tolerance," and hopes that people around the world can understand the principles of unity in diversity.
 

Arts
Arts in India is a significant way to express culture. Many artists portray the diversity of Indian society through their artwork. Societal themes such as colors, religions, social life, and societal issues are expressed using vibrant colors and sometimes symbolism or satire. H.E. Mr. Verma noted that art unifies the many traditions and religions in India.

Nature
Nature takes an integral part of Indian culture. As indicated by H.E. Mr. Verma, "All faiths come from nature." Religions in India are focused around prayers and offerings of plants to God. Gods often take shapes of animals, such as the Hindu elephant God. Festivals also revolve around nature, such as those celebrating water and the sun, with plant and animal symbolism. 

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Globalization
India has always been a global country, interacting with other countries for two thousand years. H.E. Mr. Verma explained that India believes in globalization, and the benefits it can bring in favor and in part of the major players. 

Tourism
H.E. Mr. Verma recommends various aspects of Indian tourism. There are not only historical and cultural sites in India but also world-class medical and economic facilities that people around the world can enjoy and learn. He also noted the development of the "e-visa" which allows for an easier journey for foreigners to India.

 

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Gender Equality
Although more effort is needed to reach gender equality, H.E. Mr. Verma explained that India is moving in the right direction. Women occupy all types of positions, including authoritative areas (Prime Minister and Foreign Minister), teaching, information technology, medicine, and arts and culture. Women's participation is not very organized in the economic sectors, as many women are contributing as a housewife (which can be treated as an economic activity), or are involved in artistic or humanitarian work. Nonetheless, H.E. Mr. Verma hopes that women's participation can reach an equal 50%, through more support by reservations for women positions.

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Dream
H.E. Mr. Verma's dream since childhood was to become a hero. His first passion was to become an airforce pilot, and then he found his passion for sciences and reasoning. I.T. and cyber issues have become his current passion. As an Ambassador, he is engaged and enjoying his work that unites peoples of different philosophies across India and Japan.

Passion
H.E. Mr. Verma's passion as the Indian Ambassador is to contribute to the convergence not only between the governments of India and Japan but also between the people. He hopes that the peoples can engage in various fields together, including tourism and research, and that the governments can develop and implement more frameworks for further cooperation.

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Message
H.E. Mr. Verma expressed his appreciation for is the Japanese value for nature, which he noted is also reflected in Japanese fresh and healthy cuisine. He has a strong admiration for the Japanese sensitivity for the environment, including both their cultural interpretations (such as Mt. Fuji) and the nation's focus on climate change issues.

H.E. Mr. Verma's impression on Japan is its "inherently cultured and disciplined" value. He is impressed by the Japanese belief in group activities, and how the people are very calculating and predicting when it comes to decision making. However, such carefulness can be a disadvantage- the process can become slow. H.E. Mr. Verma hopes that Japanese people can also take more risks by implementing and trying new things and concepts.

H.E. Mr. Verma's message to Japanese students is: "internationalization." He aspires to invite more Japanese people to travel, especially to India, to enrich their understandings of their culture and on humanity in general. He hopes students can learn about the international world, primarily through studying a universal language like English.

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