by Pankaj Yadav, Zhao Xu
NEW DELHI, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Describing the Indian and Chinese civilizations as "cousin cultures," a renowned Indian scholar said that it was a matter of great honor that India and China share their historic relationship in such a vibrant manner in contemporary times.
Lokesh Chandra, litterateur and former president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), said that India-China ties are very ancient, recalling that a Chinese emperor invited two Indian monks to China to introduce Buddhism during the 3rd century.
"Sugar went to China from India, and India got tea from China though Great Britain. And then we shared the concepts of art. Today in Beijing alone there are over 1,600 Buddhist sacred places and temples, from this you can imagine the depth of our age-old relationship," Chandra said in an interview with Xinhua prior to the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) starting from May 15 in Beijing.
About the languages being part of both countries' cultures and civilizations and establishing a connection between the two, he said that mandarin itself is a Sanskrit word Mantri which means "minister" in Hindi.
The Chinese people have developed their national language to a very high level, he added.
Based on a strong culture and civilization, the speed of scientific development of China is very remarkable, said Chandra, an expert on culture and a leading academician.
More than 2,000 government officials and representatives of 47 Asian countries and other countries outside the region will attend the opening ceremony and forums, under the theme "Exchanges and Mutual Learning Among Asian Civilizations and a Community With a Shared Future".
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the conference.
"I wish the conference a great success," said Chandra.