WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Wednesday (local time) presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on his first state visit to the country, with an official gift — a handmade, antique American book galley from the early 20th century.
According to the White House, the first couple also gifted a vintage American camera, accompanied by an archival facsimile print of George Eastman’s Patent of the first Kodak camera, a hardcover book on American wildlife photography, and a signed, first edition copy of ‘Collected Poems of Robert Frost’.
Meanwhile, PM Modi presented the US President a copy of the first edition print of ‘The Ten Principal Upanishads’ published by Faber and Faber Ltd of London and printed at the University Press Glasgow.
PM Modi also gifted a special Mysore sandalwood box, handcrafted by a master craftsman from Jaipur. The box contains the idol of Lord Ganesha and a Diya (oil lamp), handcrafted by a family of fifth-generation silversmiths from Kolkata. He also gifted to First Lady Jill Biden, a 7.5 carat lab grown green diamond, which reflects the chemical and optical properties of earth-mined diamonds, and a Papier mache – a box, known as kar-e-kalamdani.
Later in the evening, President Biden along with the First Lady and PM Narendra Modi enjoyed a musical tribute to the regions of India and saw performances by youth dancers from Studio Dhoom performed and a DMV-based Indian dance studio that helps connect a new generation to the vibrant culture of Indian dance.
The gifts were exchanged during an intimate dinner hosted by Joe Biden and Jill Biden for PM Modi at the White House. The dinner comes ahead of the high-profile state dinner at the South Lawn of the White House.
PM Modi’s motorcade pulled up at the White House South Portico in the evening. The US President and First Lady Dr Jill Biden received him and were later seen chatting before posing for pictures.
Three senior Indian officials — National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Deputy Chief of Protocol Aseem Vohra — were spotted when PM Modi, President Joe Biden and the First Lady entered the residence.
Earlier in the day, Jill Biden hosted PM Modi at the National Science Foundation (NSF. PM Modi will address a joint sitting of the US Congress tomorrow afternoon (local time). (ANI)