Sofia, Sep 4: Indian community in Bulgaria constitutes a "living bridge" between the two countries, said President Ram Nath Kovind after he arrived in Bulgaria on Tuesday (Sep 4), on the second leg of his three-nation visit to Europe.
He addressed the Indian community in Bulgaria and asserted that it was a "true reflection" of India's diversity, culture and traditions and constitutes a "living bridge" between the two countries. "India-Bulgaria friendship is very special. Our links are old and ancient. There are surprising similarities in our cultures, and deep and abiding connections too. You meet a Bulgarian and he or she will tell you the music closest to traditional Bulgarian music is Indian!" President's Secretariat said in a tweet.
"The great Bulgarian painter Boris Georgiev was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. Our great poet Rabindranath Tagore visited Bulgaria in 1926 and added yet another chapter to our cultural ties," it said.
President Kovind is on the second leg of his three-nation visit to Europe to continue India's high-level engagements with European countries. He praised Indology department of Sofia University for doing "stellar work" for 35 years in spreading awareness about Indian culture. "Delighted to learn its scholars have translated eight principal Upanishads from Sanskrit to Bulgarian," he said.
Earlier, Kovind met his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev who received him at the hotel where the Indian delegation is staying. "President Radev spoke to President Kovind of his admiration for Indian culture, specifically mentioning Buddhism and yoga, the Gita and the Mahabharata. In light-hearted banter the two dignitaries also discussed the Bulgarian President's favourite Hindi film - Haathi Mere Saathi," it said.
President Kovind and the and the First Lady were received by Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister Ivo Hristov at the airport. Kovind is the fifth Indian President to visit Bulgaria and the first in 15 years. From Bulgaria, he will fly to Czech Republic on the final leg of his three-nation trip on September 6. During the visit, Kovind will have a meeting with President Radev, who will host a Banquet in his honour. Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov will call on President Kovind. Kovind will address the business representatives of India and Bulgaria at a Business Forum. He will deliver a lecture at the Sofia University and will also address the members of Indian diaspora during the visit. This is his first overseas state visit in the second year of his presidency.