G20 leaders treated to exquisite gifts

| | New Delhi
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G20 leaders treated to exquisite gifts

Wednesday, 13 September 2023 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

G20 leaders treated to exquisite gifts

At the G20 summit, gift hampers containing Indian rosewood sandook (chest), pashmina shawls, Kashmiri saffron, Pekoe Darjeeling, Nilgiri Tea, Araku Coffee, Sundarbans honey, and Zighrana Ittar from Uttar Pradesh were presented to the heads of states, governments, and delegates.

According to officials, some of these products are the result of centuries-old traditions and are cherished worldwide for their unparalleled workmanship and quality.

Some products are the result of the unique biodiversity of our country.

Sundarbans multiflora mangrove honey originates from the world’s largest mangrove forest located at the delta formed by the Ganga, the Brahmaputra, and the Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal. The honey is less viscous and mirrors the biodiversity of the area. It is a harmonious blend of nectar from mangrove blossoms, including Khalisha, Bani, and Garan.

Furthermore, Sundarbans honey is notably abundant in flavonoids, offering added nutritional benefits

The Kashmiri pashmina shawl is made of wool from the world’s most unique Cashmere goat found only at a height of 14,000 feet above sea level. The wool is collected by combing (and not shearing) the undercoat of the goat. Skilled artisans hand-spin, weave, and embroider their delicate fibers using age-old processes. Pashmina was once an indicator of rank and nobility and symbolised bestowing honour.

Kashmiri saffron, which is also known as red gold, is the world’s most expensive spice valued for its culinary and medicinal value.  Kashmiri saffron (“Zafran” in Persian, “Kesar” in Hindi) is the most exotic and expensive spice in the world.

Each strand of it comprises the stigma of “Saffron Crocus”. The stigma’s crimson hue holds the concentrated essence of sun-soaked days and cool nights. Kashmiri saffron stands as a true embodiment of exclusivity and exceptional quality. Its intense aromatic profile, vibrant color and unmatched potency sets it apart.

“Sandook”, Hindi word for a treasure chest, is a strong box made of solid old wood or metal, with a lid on top and embellishments all over. This Sandook has been hand crafted using Sheesham (Indian Rosewood), which is valued for its strength, durability, distinctive grain patterns and rich colour.

The brass patti (strip) is delicately etched and embedded onto the wood, transforming the piece into a masterpiece of visual delight and tactile splendor.

Aromatic Pekoe Darjeeling and Nilgiri Tea are two illustrious gems from Bharat’s tea tapestry, epitomising the delicate art of tea cultivation and infusion. Pekoe Darjeeling is grown on the hills of West Bengal at 3,000-5,000 feet and Nilgiri Tea in the mountains of south India at an elevation of 1,000-3,000 feet.

Araku Coffee is the world’s first terroir-mapped coffee grown on plantations in Andhra Pradesh without the use of machines or chemicals. The coffee is organic and the cultivation is sustainable.

Zighrana Ittar from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh showcases a centuries-old tradition of perfume crafting. Artisans gather rare blossoms of jasmine and roses at dawn when their fragrance is most potent to make the perfume involving hydro-distillation.

The Government of India gifted the leaders a curated collection of handcrafted artefacts and products that speak volumes about India’s rich cultural traditions, the officials said.

“Some of the products gifted to them are those of centuries of tradition and cherished across the world for their unparalleled workmanship and quality,” a senior official said.

A khadi scarf and a coin box containing G20 commemorative coins were also gifted to visiting leaders by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Spouses of the world leaders were gifted items representing the culture of India by Modi, according to the officials.

The summit was the biggest such gathering India hosted in four decades and marked the culmination of India’s year-long presidency of the grouping of the world’s largest economies.

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