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“Love each other and be kind to yourself and to others, that’s my message to Indians,” says Santa Claus Timo Alarik Pakkanen

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New Delhi, Dec 6, 2016: For almost 50 years, he has played Santa Claus — and now during his second visit to India, Timo Alarik Pakkanen from Finland advises people of this country to love others and be generous and kind to themselves.

“Love each other and be kind to yourself and to others, that’s my message to Indians,” Pakkanen, dressed in a Santa outfit, told IANS during an interaction at the Finland embassy here. He was accompanied by Nina Vaskunlahti, the Ambassador of Finland to India.

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Pakkanen, who has committed himself to the task of being Santa Claus, comes from the mysterious Korvatunturi (“Ear Fell”) in Finnish Lapland.

Perhaps one of the most famous names on the planet, this Santa Claus recognises his global influence and the responsibility that comes with it. He spends his time at the Santa Claus Village very day of the year to take care of his mission in life — to enhance the well being of children and the kindness of grown-ups, as well as spreading the message of love and goodwill of the Christmas Spirit across the globe.

For almost 40 years, he has lived the life of the fabled Santa Claus and has met and talked to people from over 82 countries and from 40 US states, 55 German cities and 24 cities from Britain.

He calls his experience of playing Santa as magical and the Christmas eve, magic.

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“The Christmas eve is a magical evening and that’s where all the magic happens. Whenever I meet people, they give me a smile and positivity and that’s the thing I like the most. So I get happiness from children,” he said.

He last visited India six years back as Santa Claus and this year has been equally special for him as people are more acceptable.

“Over the years, it has become more acceptable but I feel it’s the same everywhere. Some people are excited and some are a bit afraid and it’s same with children. Someone comes and hugs you immediately while some start to cry so it’s very different like the way people are different.

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“It’s the same every where you go. It doesn’t mater from where you come, whether it is Canada, China, India or Europe, it’s always kind of same thing,” he told IANS.

He landed in the capital on Sunday and started his trip by meeting a few school children in Vasant Vihar followed by a brunch at Hotel Leela Palace here. On Monday, he visited Gandhi Smriti and India Gate. On Tuesday, he was to visit Taj Mahal in Agra along with a few other places.

Asked how he plans to spread smiles in India at a time when demonetisation is the talk of the town, he told IANS: “My most important mission is to make people happy around me. Give happiness, joy and laughter but I am not here to solve your political problems or anything like that.” (IANS)

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Narendra Modi Considers Indians in Argentina as Bridge Between Two Nations

Narendra Modi is slated to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit

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Indians in Argentina bridge between two nations: Modi. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived here to participate in the G20 Summit, sought the help of the Indians in Argentina in strengthening bilateral ties and taking it to a new level by playing the role of a “bridge”, an official statement said on Friday.

Narendra Modi made the remarks on Thursday evening while attending a “Yoga for Peace” event.

The Prime Minister said that there were unlimited possibilities of mutual cooperation between the two countries and “we can avail the benefits of our capabilities in the field of business, pharma, oil, gas, IT and space”.

“The cooperation between the two countries has an ability to create a golden future in sectors of water, land and space. You are all India’s messengers. Your contribution is a bridge which connects both the countries,” Modi said in the event.

Modi said that practices like yoga can further enhance the relationship between the two countries.

“The meaning of Yoga is to unite. Yoga connects us with ‘wellness and happiness’. It led to overcome thousands of kilometres distance between India and Argentina and has been uniting the people of both the countries.”

He invited Indians residing in Argentina and their friends to visit India and understand the country in a vast way.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE PHOTO)

“All the Indians living in Argentina should come to India with their friends (and participate) in ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ programme to be organised in Kashi in January 2019. As the Ardh Kumbh will be going on at the same time in Prayagraj, you can observe the Indian culture, the face of a changing India and also a New India on these occasions.”

In the event, Modi said that issues such as global economy, sustainable development, climate change and economic fugitives, which are of interest to the entire global community will come up for discussion at the two-day summit that will begin on Saturday.

The event featured a mass yoga demonstration by 600 people, a song by famous Argentine singer Patricia Sosa, chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” and a short Indian classical dance performance.

Congratulating “The Art of Living” for organising this event, the Prime Minister said that yoga improves the health of both the mind and body.

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Modi also spoke of Argentina’s interest in Indian philosophy, art, music, and dance; and the immense popularity of Argentine football stars, such as Diego Maradona, in India.

The Prime Minister congratulated the Argentine hockey team for winning their first match during the Hockey World Cup held in Odisha.

Narendra Modi is slated to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit. (IANS)