US diplomats have taken to social media in a big way as part of efforts to reach out to ordinary Indians and Independence Day brought the spectacle of two of them trying their hand at popular national pastimes - eating paan and playing cricket.
The first video showed a vendor in New Delhi’s Rajiv Chowk making and feeding paan to a diplomat named Richard and another customer. One of the paans was a “fire paan” and was set aflame before being fed to Richard.
The diplomat described his first experience with what he called the “national mouth freshener” as “fantastic”, and said it wouldn’t be the last.
In another video, a diplomat who introduced himself as Jake Miner from New York City tried playing cricket for the first time. The video showed him being taught the front foot swing technique by an Indian colleague, which he executed successfully.
The American embassy in New Delhi and other missions across India have launched a social media outreach effort in recent years to connect with the country’s increasingly net-savvy youth. Both videos featured the hashtag #USIndiaDosti and wished the country a happy Independence Day.