Greek high school students performed the Indian national song Vande Mataram, and receiving praised from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On the official Twitter handle of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India, it was said the Greek students sang “in a very beautiful and soulful manner.”
According to the account, Modi also “felicitated the students and their teachers, and said that such efforts bring people of the two countries closer.”
ग्रीस के हाई स्कूल के विद्यार्थियों ने वंदे मातरम् गीत को अत्यंत खूबसूरत और भावपूर्ण रूप से प्रस्तुत किया।
— Amrit Mahotsav (@AmritMahotsav) December 26, 2021
In the video, Modi also said “The beauty and passion with which they have presented this song is amazing as well as commendable,” adding: “I thank the students of Greece and their teachers.”
Vande Maataram (Mother, I bow to thee) is a poem written in Bengali (with some Sanskrit words) by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya in the 1870s, which he included in his 1882 Bengali novel Anandamath.
The song played a vital role in the Indian independence movement, first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.
It became a popular marching song for political activism and Indian freedom movement in 1905.
Spiritual Indian nationalist and philosopher Sri Aurobindo referred it as “National Anthem of Bengal”.
The song and the novel containing it was banned by the British colonial government, but workers and the general public defied the ban (with many being imprisoned repeatedly for singing it in public).
The ban was overturned by the Indian government after the country gained independence from Britain in 1947.
On 24 January 1950, the Constituent Assembly of India has adopted “Vande Mataram” as national song.