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International Ramayana meet in Romania

The city, slated to join the European Union on January 1, 2007, will host the 23rd edition of the conference.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 15:23 IST
Surender Bhutani (Indo-Asian News Service)
Surender Bhutani (Indo-Asian News Service)

Romania has been proposed as the next host of the International Ramayana Conference, after the 22nd edition of the event concluded recently in the British city of Birmingham.

Romania, which is slated to join the European Union on January 1, 2007, has been the epicentre for European gypsies, who maintain that their ancestors originated from India. It is pointed out that there are some 8,000 Romani words that have Hindi and Sanskrit roots.

"Romania looks for spiritual guidance only from two places, Italy and India," said George Anca, director-general of the National Library, Bucharest.

Anca, greatly attached to the philosophy of the Ramayana, has been instrumental in setting up an Indian Library within the complex of the National Library where many researchers are working on Hindi and Sanskrit texts.

Former Indian president Shankar Dayal Sharma and recently Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat visited the Indian Library during their trips to the country.

Anca, a former visiting professor at the University of Delhi during 1977-84 and then 2002-03, is hopeful that the Indian government and the growing Indian community in Romania will support his efforts to organise the next International Ramayana Conference.

It is imperative to spread the message of the Ramayana in different parts of the world in an age of ever growing violence, Anca told IANS in an interview.

He said: "The ancient message of the Ramayana continues to be relevant for the human race. It is not surprising that Mahatama Gandhi was tremendously influenced by the teachings of the Ramayana. If Gandhiji is still relevant for the world so is his guidebook - Ramayana."

First Published: Sep 22, 2006 15:23 IST