India and Lithuania - Ready for a new start

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At the Make in India Week in Mumbai and celebrating the 98th anniversary of its independence, Lithuania presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a unique gift: a specially published small Sanskrit-Lithuanian dictionary. Its ambassador, Laimonas Talat-Kelpša, explains why India-Lithuania relations can never be lost in translation.

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The striking resemblance of words and grammatical structures in Sanskrit and Lithuanian, which smoothly overlap into modern Hindi, leaves many listeners open-mouthed.

Both in Hindi and Lithuanian, we say dievas (देव) when we appeal to God, labas (लाभ) when we wish each other wealth and prosperity, ašara(अश्रु) when we cry tears of joy and sorrow, and sapnas (सपना) when we share our dreams and visions.

What is important today, however, is that within the existing scope our nations actively trade in high-value goods like scientific lasers and pharmaceuticals, which is one of the reasons why our commercial links have been expanding despite thedifficult economic situation worldwide.

The coming years will be full of challenges but also opportunities. In 2017, India and Lithuania will celebrate 25 years of their diplomatic relations. It will also be a year of India’s 70th anniversary.

There is also hope that an Indian resident mission will open soon in Lithuania, as this decision has been under consideration for the last 10 years. Perhaps Prime Minister Narendra Modi will choose to become the first Indian leader to visit Lithuania and the Baltic States, to signify the growing intensity of our ties. We already have sapnas (dreams) in common. Let us work together to make those dreams come true.

4 Mar 2016