Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Papua New Guinea counterpart James Marape on May 22 released the Tamil classic 'Thirukkural' in the Tok Pisin language to bring the Indian thought and culture closer to the people of this southwestern Pacific nation.
Modi arrived here on May 21 on his maiden visit to Papua New Guinea, becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit the country. He co-hosted with Marape a key summit between India and 14 Pacific island countries to boost bilateral ties.
Tok Pisin is the official language of Papua New Guinea.
"Indian diaspora keeping alive connect with the motherland! PM@narendramodi & PM James Marape launched a translation of the Tamil classic ‘Thirukkural’ in the Tok Pisin language of Papua New Guinea," the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted.
Co-authored by Subha Sasindran and Governor Sasindran Muthuvel of West New Britain Province, the book brings Indian thought and culture closer to the people of Papua New Guinea, it said.
"In Papua New Guinea, PM James Marape and I had the honour of releasing the Thirukkural in Tok Pisin language. Thirukkural is an iconic work, which provides valuable insights across different subjects," Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
Thirukkural, a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economic matters, and love, is written by Poet Thiruvalluvar.
"I would like to commend @pngsasi, Governor of the West New Britain Province and Mrs. Subha Sasindran for their effort to translate the Thirukkural in Tok Pisin. Governor Sasindran has done his schooling in Tamil while Mrs. Subha Sasindran is a respected linguist," he said in another tweet.
Prime Minister Modi has previously released a translation of the book in his mother tongue Gujarati.
He has praised Thirukkural on many occasions.
In one of his speeches, the Prime Minister said, "Thirukkural is not only a literary masterpiece but an extraordinary guide for common living. It shows us the path of righteousness and inspires us to lead a selfless life." He also stated that Thirukkural "remains relevant even today and can serve as an inspiration for the present generation." The prime minister has often quoted Thirukkural in his speeches and tweets and even gifted a copy of the book to the late Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in 2014.
“Thirukkural is a treasure trove full of inspiring ideas that youngsters all over the world can read and benefit from," he had said.