PM Modi gifts President Joe Biden, US First Lady Jill Biden Sandalwood box with ‘das danams’, green diamond

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WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on his first state visit to the US on Wednesday (local time) gifted a handcrafted sandalwood box with ‘das danam’ to US President Joe Biden and a lab-grown green diamond to First Lady Jill Biden.

The gifts were exchanged during the private dinner hosted by Joe Biden and Jill Biden for PM Modi at the White House. The special sandalwood box presented to US President Joe Biden has been handcrafted by a master craftsman from Jaipur, Rajasthan. The sandalwood, sourced from Mysuru in Karnataka, has intricately carved flora and fauna patterns, officials said.

The box contains a silver idol of Lord Ganesha, the Hindu deity considered as the destroyer of obstacles and the one who is worshipped first among all gods. The idol has been handcrafted by a family of fifth-generation silversmiths from Kolkata.

The box also contains a diya (oil lamp) that occupies a sacred space in every Hindu household. This silver diya has also been handcrafted by artisans from the family of fifth-generation silversmiths in Kolkata. A copper plate, also called ‘tamra patra’ has been sourced from Uttar Pradesh and a shloka has been inscribed on it.

The handcrafted delicate silver boxes contain symbolic ‘Das Danam’, or the ten donations, which denote the donations made on the occasion when a person becomes ‘Drishta Sahasrachandro’ or the one who has seen one thousand full moons when he completes the age of eighty years and eight months.

At this stage of life, the individual (who has seen one thousand full moons) is honoured and celebrated for the sheer experience of human life. During Sahasra Poorna Chandrodayam celebrations, there is a custom of ‘Das Danam’ or donations of ten different kinds, which include Gaudaan (cow), Bhudaan (land), Tildaan (sesame seeds), Hiranyadaan (gold), Ajyadaan (ghee or clarified butter), Dhaanyadaan (food grains), Vastradaan (clothes), Guddaan (jaggery), Raupyadaan (silver) and Lavandaan (salt).

The handcrafted delicate silver boxes gifted by PM Modi to US President Joe Biden, who turns 81 this November, contain ten donations, which denote the donations made on the occasion.

The box includes a delicately handcrafted silver coconut by the skilled artisans of West Bengal is offered in place of a Cow for Gaudaan (donation of cow). A fragrant piece of sandalwood sourced from Mysuru, Karnataka, is offered in place of land for Bhudaan (donation of land).

The box also includes til, or white sesame seeds, sourced from Tamil Nadu, offered for tildaan (donation of sesame seeds). Handcrafted in Rajasthan, a 24K pure and hallmarked gold coin is offered as Hiranyadaan (donation of gold).

The box also contains ghee, or clarified butter, sourced from Punjab, offered for Ajyadaan (donation of clarified butter). A handwoven textured tussar silk cloth sourced from Jharkhand is offered for Vastradaan (donation of cloth). Long-grained rice sourced from Uttarakhand are offered for Dhaanyadaan (donation of food grains).

Jaggery sourced from Maharashtra is offered for Guddaan (donation of jaggery). A 99.5 per cent pure and hallmarked silver coin has been aesthetically crafted by Rajasthan artisans and is offered as Raupyadaan (donation of silver). Lavan or salt from Gujarat is offered for Lavandaan (donation of salt).

PM Modi gifted a copy of the first edition print of the book, ‘The Ten Principal Upanishads’ published by M/s Faber and Faber Ltd of London and printed at the University Press Glasgow, to US President Joe Biden.

PM Modi gifted a lab-grown 7.5-carat green diamond to US First Lady Jill Biden. The diamond reflects earth-mined diamonds’ chemical and optical properties. The diamond is also eco-friendly, as eco-diversified resources like solar and wind power were used in its making.

He also gifted a ‘papier mache’ box in which the green diamond is placed. Known as ‘kar-e-kalamdani’, Kashmir’s exquisite papier mache involves sakthsazior meticulous preparation of paper pulp and naqqashi, where skilled artisans paint elaborate designs.

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a private dinner at the White House. The dinner included a few of the US President’s favourite foods, including pasta and ice cream.

Joe Biden, Jill Biden and PM Modi enjoyed a musical tribute to the regions of India, performed by youth dancers from Studio Dhoom, a DMV-based Indian dance studio that helps connect a new generation to the vibrant culture of Indian dance, according to the White House.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcomed PM Modi at the White House. The camaraderie between leaders was visible as they were seen laughing and engaged in conversation during the warm welcome.

PM Modi is currently on a state visit to the US. Prior to the visit to the White House, PM Modi met Gary E Dickerson, the president and CEO of Applied Materials, Sanjay Mehrotra, president-CEO of Micron Technology and H Lawrence Culp Jr, chairman and CEO, of General Electic and CEO of General Electic Aerospace.

PM Modi, who arrived in Washington DC on Wednesday, started his day by attending the ‘Skilling for Future’ event where he said that India and the United States partnership will serve as the driving engine behind sustainable and inclusive global growth. (ANI)

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