Leaders exchange gifts as Bidens host Indian Prime Minister for a rare private dinner ahead of State Visit
Keeping up their charm offensive to bring India closer to the US, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a rare private dinner Wednesday night ahead of the start of his official State Visit.
The private dinner marked another double for Modi, only the third world leader to get the honor of a state banquet by the Biden administration, who is set to address the US Congress for the second time Thursday.
Bidens presented Modi a handmade, antique American book galley from the early 20th century and a vintage American camera with an archival facsimile print of George Eastman’s Patent of the first Kodak camera.
The first couple also gifted Modi a hardcover book on American wildlife photography, and a signed, first edition copy of ‘Collected Poems of Robert Frost.’
Modi in turn 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.
Modi also gifted Biden 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 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 box, known as kar-e-kalamdani.
Later in the evening, Modi along with the Bidens enjoyed a musical tribute to the regions of India, performed by youth dancers from Studio Dhoom, a DMV-based Indian dance studio that helps connect a new generation to the vibrant culture of Indian dance.
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Earlier, Bidens received Modi as his motorcade pulled up at the White House South Portico. They were later seen chatting before posing for pictures.
Three senior Indian officials, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Deputy Chief of Protocol Aseem Vohra, accompanied Modi to the private dinner.
Earlier in the day, Jill Biden hosted Modi at the National Science Foundation.
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