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Yoga day: In Indonesia, a comic book to commemorate cultural links

Jakarta: To commemorate the International Yoga Day, the Indian embassy in Indonesia has released a special publication, a comic book focusing on the historic India-Indonesia relationship.

“Travels through Time”, is a part of the ongoing “Sahabat India: Festival of India in Indonesia” which has revived and revitalised India’s cultural links with Indonesia at large.

The comic book begins with when Indonesia and India came into contact and goes through different periods of historic, social and cultural interaction. The journey of the book goes through India’s Look East Policy turning to Act East, the recent intensive engagement of India and Indonesia and ends with the elections of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo in 2014.

The comic book will be distributed to libraries, schools, universities and among children and public libraries in a unique public diplomacy effort.Yoga_representational_Thinkstock_650

The publication was released by an array of Indonesian celebrities including actors Nicholas Saputra, Agus Ringgo, Anjasmara, Ikat fashion designer Didiet Maulana, novelist, screenplay writer Asma Nadia, celebrity chef Farah Quinn, film director Nia Dinata.

From India, the cast of the “Mahabharata” television serial were also present.

The Indonesian version of the comic book is entitled, “Perjalanan Menelusuri Sejarah: Cerita Indonesia Dan India”.

It is an initiative of Indian Ambassador Gurjit Singh and the former head of the Indonesian Archives, Tamalia Alisjahbana, who worked with Indonesian historian, Agus Aris Munandar, to compile and prepare the text.

“A lot of effort went into this” said Tamalia Alisjahbana, who is extremely fond of India.

“Ambassador Singh and I both felt the need for such a publication to bring to the mind of the young Indonesians the history of our engagement.”

Ambassador Gurjit Singh, who took the initiative of organising the event, said that the story of India has been told in many ways through the Festival of India and social media has been widely used.

However, there are a large number of schools and public libraries where people want to know about India’s links with Indonesia in their own language. Thus, we decided to work with “Amar Chitra Katha”, well known publishers of Indian historical comics to create a special edition which would be physically available to schools and libraries across Indonesia.

A dedicated team from Amar Chitra Katha was set up to work with the embassy with the ambassador personally supervising this initiative. (IANS)

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