On February 10, 2012 New Delhi saw the opening of the exhibition “Buddhism in Russia today” prepared by the All-Russia Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts with participation of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
This unique exposition, housed in the gallery of the Azad Bhawan cultural centre, includes a photo retrospective from archive collections and modern pictures, framed by the copies of Nikolai Dudko, a famous master in traditional Buddhist thangkas paintings, and colourful batiks by Elena Zonkhaeva who creates unique oeuvres with Buddhist symbols.
Addressing the audience at the solemn ceremony, which started with ritual lamp lighting, ICCR President Dr Karan Singh, renowned scholar in philosophy and world religions, expressed sincere gratitude for the opportunity for Indians to get acquainted with the history of development and the present state of Buddhism in Russia. “The exhibition is, no doubt, of great interest, as it opens little known pages of religious life of the country that shares with India decades of firm friendship and multifaceted cooperation”, he noted.
Ambassador of Russia to India H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin stressed that the inauguration day coincided with the Day of the Russian Diplomatist. The exhibit was a kind of opening of the Festival of Russian Culture in India, timed to a notable anniversary – 65 years of Russian-Indian diplomatic relations. “We are happy to introduce Russian Buddhist heritage and contemporary life of this ancient religion to our Indian friends”, said A.M.Kadakin. He was convinced that this exhibition will enhance the knowledge of Indians about Russia’s rich cultural heritage, thus serving long-cherished humanitarian and spiritual contacts between Russia and India.