SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA, H.E. SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL AT THE BANQUET HOSTED IN HER HONOUR BY THE GOVERNOR OF SALZBURG, H.E. MS. GABI BURGSTALLER
Salzburg, Austria, 6th October 2011
It is indeed a pleasure for me as well as for the members of my delegation to be here today in Salzburg. I would like to express our deep appreciation for the warm reception and hospitality given to us in this beautiful Schloss Hellbrunn.
Austria has inherited one of the most outstanding cultural legacies in Europe which is so well reflected in this magnificent city. Your country is, indeed, a treasure house of Arts. The creative urge of your people to devote themselves to the world of arts and music, has played an important role in not only enriching your own cultural traditions, but that of the whole world. It, therefore, gives me special pleasure, to be here in this city, with which renowned musician Mozart is inextricably associated. In India, there is a following for Western classical music, and they all know of the great tradition of excellent music in Austria.
It is, therefore, not a surprise that our cultural ties are very strong. I am told that in your country, Yoga and Ayurveda have a large following. Indian films too are increasingly getting popular in Austria, and some of them have been shot in your scenic and splendorous country.
Like Austria, India too has its own pluralistic traditions and openness to other cultures. We believe in cultural inclusiveness and a "confluence of civilizations". I am happy to learn that Indian artists who have performed during the 'Szene Salzburg' festival in the recent past, have received an overwhelming response from the city of Salzburg. We look forward to furthering such people to people exchanges.
May I once again extend our gratitude to you for having made our stay here so special. It is indeed, a matter of great pleasure for me and my delegation to have had the chance to visit this magnificent city. Earlier, in Vienna, President Fischer, who is a old friend of India and whom we deeply respect, and I had fruitful discussions, and I am confident that our bilateral relationship will further strengthen in many areas of mutual co-operation. On a personal note, I can say that I will take back many memories of the majestic beauty of Austria and the warmth of the friendship of its people.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I request you to join me in a toast:-
- to the good health of President Fischer and Madam Fischer ;
- to the good health of Governor Gabi Burgstaller and Mr. Holzer;
- to the prosperity of the people of Salzburg and the Republic of Austria; and
- to the abiding friendship and close cultural relations between our two countries and people.