US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted a private dinner with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House on Wednesday. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan, joined them. PM Narendra Modi gave some special unique gifts to the US first couple.
The prime Minister gave his US President Friend a handcrafted sandalwood box sourced from Mysore with intricately carved flora and fauna patterns and handcrafted by a Jaipur master craftsman. The box contains a silver idol of Lord Ganesha, which has been handcrafted by a fifth-generation silversmith from Kolkata. The family also made Diya, which was kept in the gift box. There was a copper plate with shlokas inscribed on it that was sourced from Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from this, Modi also gifted ‘Das Danam’ in that Sandalwood Box. "Das Danam" signifies donations made when a person becomes 'Drishta Sahasrachandro, or the one who has seen one thousand full moons after completing the age of 80 years and eight months. This celebration is called Sahasra Poorna Chandrodayam. The custom involves donating ten different things that include: Gaudaan (a silver coconut), Bhudaan (a fragrant piece of Sandalwood sourced from Mysore), Tildaan (Sesame seeds sourced from Tamil Nadu), Hiranyadaan (a gold coin sourced from Rajasthan), Ajyadaan (ghee sourced from Punjab), Dhaanyadaan (long-grained rice from Uttarakhand), Vastradaan (tussar silk from Jharkhand), Guddaan (Jaggery sourced from Maharashtra), Raupyadaan (silver coin handcrafted by Rajasthan Artisans), and Lavandaan (salt donation, sourced from Gujarat).
The Prime Minister also gifted Joe Biden a copy of the first edition print of the book ‘The Ten Principal Upanishads’. This is a tribute to the US president's admiration for Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
Narendra Modi also gifted a 7.5-carat lab-grown green diamond to First Lady Jill Biden. The diamond, which has been made in India, reflects earth-mined diamonds' chemical and optical properties and is also eco-friendly, as eco-diversified resources like solar and wind power were used in its making.
The first couple also gifted him a handmade, antique American book gallery from the early 20th Century, a vintage American camera, a hardcover book of American wildlife photography, and a signed, first edition copy of ‘Collected Poems’ by Robert Frost.
The 9th International Day of Yoga was celebrated at a historic event that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted at the UN headquarters in New York earlier in the day, attended by UN officials, diplomats, and prominent personalities. PM Modi then flew from New York to Washington. He is on a three-day official State visit to the US at the invitation of President Biden and the first lady.
President Biden and the first lady will host a separate State Dinner at the White House for the Prime Minister tomorrow, which is expected to be attended by about 400 guests. The visit indicates deepening ties between the two nations in many fields.