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Defence Minister teaches ‘Namaste’ to PLA soldiers in Nathu La

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had a brief conversation with Chinese soldiers during her maiden visit to the Nathu La border post in Sikkim and was even seen teaching them how to say 'Namaste'.

Two short video clips of her interaction with the Chinese soldiers yesterday were posted today by the Defence Minister's official Twitter handle.

In the first clip, she was seen greeting the PLA personnel with a "namaste" while in the second video the Defence Minister wished good luck to the people of China.

"Do you know what 'Namaste' means," Sitharaman was seen asking one of the People's Liberation Army personnel who appeared confused and said Namaste while trying to explain the meaning. At this point, some Indian soldiers tried to come to the assistance of their Chinese counterparts but Sitharaman asked them to let the PLA men find the meaning on their own.

After some time, one of the soldiers, with a smile on his face, said "Namaste means nice to meet you."

Then Sitharaman asked "What would you say in Chinese?"

"Ni hao," responded the Chinese soldiers, triggering laughter on both sides.

Earlier, one of the Chinese soldiers was seen introducing his commander to Sitharaman.

The first video has gone viral on the social media.

In the second video of her interaction with the Chinese soldiers posted by the Defence Minister's official Twitter handle this evening, Sitharaman was seen wishing good luck to the people of China.

"I wish good luck to the people of your country," Sitharaman was seen telling the Chinese soldiers.

Responding to her wish, one of the PLA personnel said, "thank you. India and China are great nations".

Yesterday, Sitharaman had posted a photo of her waving at the Chinese troops.

"Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La," she had tweeted.

The defence minister visited various forward areas along the India-China border yesterday in Sikkim including Nathu La, which is around 30 km from Dokalam, the site of the 73-day- long standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers.

Her visit came amid reports that China has strengthened its military presence at the Dokalam Plateau and even started widening an existing road which is at a distance of around 12 km from the area of the conflict.

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