Modi's Gujarati message confuses Chinese Buddhist monks

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Beijing, May 18: A message written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his native Gujarati language during his visit to a Chinese temple sent the monks into a spin, following which they took the help of an Indian to decipher its meaning.

In his message to the Daxingshan Temple in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province during his three-day visit to China on Thursday, Modi praised a monk for his contributions to Buddhism and spoke of man's search for world peace.


However, his insights were lost on the monks as the message was in the Prime Minister's native Gujarati, Li Li'an, a professor from Xi'an's Northwest University who examined it told state-run Global Times. Li was first approached by the temple's abbot to decipher the message following which the professor sent it to his doctoral student Guan Xiujie, a native of India.

Recognising it as Gujarati, Guan sent the text to an Indian friend, who translated it into Hindi. Guan then translated it into English, which Li finally presented in Chinese. Li said that Modi wrote in Gujarati to honour Dharmagupta, a fellow Gujarati who lived at the temple during the Sui Dynasty (581-618).


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