Stockholm (Sweden), Nov.21 (ANI): India has a millennia long experience of welcoming different religions and ethnic communities in its midst, and been the birth place of four major religions of the world, namely-Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, said the country's envoy to Sweden Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar while taking part in the launching of "Communal Harmony Week" in Sweden this week.
The Indian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, organized the event as part of the birth anniversary celebrations of former Indian Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
During his opening address, Ambassador Sajjanhar recalled Nehru's love and fondness for children.
On a macro scale, he said, that India is a country that has welcomed other religions with an open mind.
"Not only was there tolerance for this diversity of religion and culture by the people of India, but in fact, all these religions had found ready acceptance and had flourished and bloomed in the hospitable Indian environment. Indian philosophy considered the whole world to be one big family," he said.
"In today's world when there was so much of religious and ethnic hatred and animosity, India's experience is of immense value for the people of other countries including Sweden," he added.
Former Member of Swedish Parliament Bjorn Hamilton said that he was deeply impressed by the immense strides that India has taken in the last few years in the area of economic development as well as in improving the living conditions of its people.
He said that great possibilities exist for further promoting collaboration and cooperation between India and Sweden in political, strategic, economic, commercial and cultural spheres.
He expressed his keen interest and determination to continue to work to further expand and deepen relations between India and Sweden.
A cultural program, an exhibition, and a rendition of songs in Bangla and Hindi by Shipra Nandi, Director of the Nandi Music Academy along with her young troupe of singers marked the event.
Students of Ms Usha Balasundaram Director of Saraswati Kala Kendra performed a Tillana. The concluding item was a scintillating Tarana in Kathak style presented by Sunita Singh, who also runs an institution in Stockholm to promote Indian classical dance and music.
The performers received loud, spontaneous and sustained applause. Prizes were given out to the children whose paintings were adjudged to be the best in their age categories.
In all nine prizes were awarded to the winners and certificates of appreciation given to all the contestants. (ANI)