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Korea to Pay Tribute to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore on 150th Birthday Anniversary

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Rabindranath Tagore

The citizens of the global village of today are joining hands together to celebrate the life and contributions of world poet Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore- an institution in himself on the occasion of his 150th birthday anniversary.

To pay homage to him, the Indian Government is organizing many functions with the support of Tagore lovers from all over the globe. National and international celebrations of the 150th birthday anniversary of Tagore will commence from May 7, 2011 (his birthday). Important events will be held in several countries in Europe, America and Asia. An international award with prize money of US$250,000 is being instituted for promoting values of Universal Brotherhood in the memory of this widely loved and celebrated Nobel Laureate.

During his lifetime, Tagore visited many countries and proved to be a true ambassador of globalization with his creed for ‘Vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ (the whole world is one family) without discrimination. This worldview is most relevant in the present context of the WTO’s globalization efforts, which is the internationalization of Indianization for one and all in India. He is one of the only two Indians (the other being Mahatma Gandhi) known over the whole modern world of today. Tagore had met with many world-renowned stalwarts of his time including Einstein, GB Shaw, Stalin and Mao, etc.

In South Korea celebrations are also being planned in a big way. A statue of Tagore will be unveiled in May 2011 at Daehangro, in downtown Seoul. A high profile delegation from India is also expected to visit Korea to join the celebrations. Korea has a very close and historical connection with Tagore. He became the focus of Korean interest during the Korean struggle against Japanese colonial rule. His receipt of the Nobel prize provided great encouragement to Koreans, since he shared their cultural background as well as their experiences of living under colonial domination. The four-line English poem Tagore wrote in honor of Korea in 1929 helped inspire Koreans to regain their national pride and fight for their independence. Though Tagore could not accept the invitation of the Donge Ilbo (East Asian Daily) to visit Korea, his small poem in honor of Korea fired the whole nation with pride and honor.

Back then when Korea was going through one of the darkest phases in its history, he wrote:

In the golden age of Asia, Korea was one of its lamp-bearers. And that lamp is waiting to be lighted once again. For the illumination in the East.

To this day, Koreans sing this song whenever there is talk about Korea’s future and its place under the sun.

A grateful nation pays tributes to this great of Son the East.

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