Copenhagen | Jagran News Desk: It is no secret that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an ambassador of India's art and culture on the world stage. During his time as the leader of world's largest democracy, PM Modi has taken numerous steps to showcase India's rich heritage to the world. And, his ongoing visit to Europe was no different.

PM Modi, who is on a three-day trip to Europe, gave a taste of some of India's finest art forms to Nordic countries. On Wednesday, he held a series of meetings with his counterparts from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland during which he discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties.

PM Modi, who arrived in Copenhagen on Tuesday from Berlin on the second leg of his visit to three European nations, met the four Nordic leaders on the sidelines of the second India-Nordic Summit in the Danish capital.

However, amid all the serious bilateral discussions, PM Modi presented the leaders of Nordic nations with some rare and magnificent Indian art forms.

Brass Tree of Life:

PM Modi gifted a Brass Tree of Life from Rajasthan to PM of Finland, Sanna Marin. The Tree of Life symbolises the development and growth of life. The branches of a tree grow and develop upwards and contain various life forms representing inclusiveness.

 

 

This hand-crafted wall decorative art piece depicting 'Tree of Life' is made of brass and is an example of the excellent craftsmanship and rich tradition of India. The roots of the tree represent the connection with the earth, leaves, and birds represent life, and candle stand represents light.

Silver Meenakari Bird:

PM Modi presented a Silver Meenakari Bird figure from Varanasi to Crown Princess of Denmark, Mary. The art of silver enameling practiced in Benaras (Varanasi) is almost 500 years old. The art has its roots in Persian art of Meenakari.

The most distinguishing element of Banaras meenakari is the use of pink colour in various shades on various products. The base is silver sheet, which is fixed on a metallic base. The sheet fixed on base mould is beaten lightly to get a fitting form of the mould.

 

 

The preliminary product is taken off in spliced form the mould and is deftly joined. On this, a design is worked on with a metallic pen. The ‘Meena’ is ground to a fine powder and mixed with pomegranate seeds in water.

Thereafter, it is fixed on various parts of the product with a flat metallic tool called 'qalam'. The finished product is decorated with semi-precious stones and pearls.

Rogan Painting:

PM Modi gifted a Rogan painting from Gujarat to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Rogan painting is an art of cloth printing practiced in Kutch, Gujarat. In this craft, paint made from boiled oil and vegetable dyes is laid down on fabric using either a metal block (printing) or a stylus (painting).

The craft nearly died out in the late 20th century, with Rogan painting being practiced by only one family. The word 'Rogan' comes from Persian, meaning varnish or oil. The process of applying this oil-based paint to fabric began among the Khatris, a community in Kutch, Gujarat.

 

 

The process of making Rogan painting is very laborious and skillful. Artists place a small amount of this paint paste into their palms. At room temperature, the paint is carefully twisted into motifs and images using a metal rod that never comes in contact with the fabric. Next, the artisan folds his designs into a blank fabric, thereby printing its mirror image.

Dokra Boat:

PM Modi presented a Dokra boat from Chattisgarh to Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark. Dokra is non–ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. This sort of metal casting has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used.

 

 

There are two main processes of lost wax casting: solid casting & hollow casting. The product of artisans who are mainly from Central and Eastern India are in great demand in domestic and foreign markets because of their primitive simplicity, enchanting folk motifs, and forceful form.

Pashmina Stole:

PM gifted a Pashmina stole in a Papier Mache box from Jammu and Kashmir to PM of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson. Kashmiri Pashmina Stoles have been treasured for their rare material, exquisite craftsmanship and reminiscent designs since time immemorial. The Pashmina stole is packed in a Kashmir Papier Mache box which is handcrafted and coloured. The piece is hand-painted in a floral design depicting flora and fauna of the Kashmir valley. The design used in this piece is an intricate pattern drawn with a fine thin brush.

 

 

Water-based colours and natural pigments have been used in this piece. Pure gold foil and paint has been used in the design which imparts a royal look to the piece. Finally, the piece is coated with lacquer which protects it from water and gives extra durability.

Wall Hanging with Kutch Embroidery:

PM Modi presented a wall hanging with Kutch embroidery to PM of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen. Kutch Embroidery is a handicraft and textile signature art tradition of tribal community of Kutch, Gujarat. This with its rich designs has made a notable contribution to Indian embroidery traditions.

 

 

The signature effect of the colorful embroidery sparkles when small mirrors called 'abhla' are sewn over the geometrically shaped designs.

Dhaal with Koftgiri Art:

PM Modi gifted a Dhaal with Koftgiri art from Rajasthan to PM of Norway, Jonas Gahr Store. Tarkashi (Koftgiri) on metal is a traditional art of Rajasthan in India as a means of decorating Arms and Armour. Koftgiri craft is intended to enrich the surface of the metal of which the article is made. The base metal is a mixture of three types of Iron (soft, hard and high).

 

 

Layers of 3 types of iron are hammered till completely mixed&base metal is made then blades in different shapes are made out of it&this blade is dipped into a solution of 3 herbs which brings out the design engraved on the blade. Finally, the blade is rubbed & polished with very fine paper.

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta