culture

President Tsai Ing-wen and her Guatemalan counterpart, Jimmy Morales, reaffirmed their commitment to relations and cooperation between the two countries Wednesday, with Tsai saying that Taiwan will continue to support a Guatemalan highway expansion project, a proposal put forward by Morales. Tsai received a military salute hosted by Morales at the National Palace of Culture. 

CSIAF is a month-long torrent of public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and arts classes for the masses, as well as a forum and performing arts fair geared toward the international arts community, taking place in theatres and conference rooms throughout Shanghai. “Some 750 people from nearly 50 countries are attending the forum this year,” CSIAF vice president Li Ming said. 

India’s soft-power reach out is undergoing a makeover to meet the challenges of the resource-crunch in spreading its art, culture, culinary traditions, as well as entertainment and spiritualism overseas. Compared to countries like China or the UK, what India has been spending on leveraging its soft-power to win friends overseas remains negligible. Soft-power plays an important part in winning friends and goodwill abroad.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi stayed away this year, India followed a strategy of quiet diplomacy while projecting its soft power at the world body, even as it suffered a setback in the fight against terrorism. India had a low profile on the diplomatic front that masked a lot of behind-the-scenes diplomacy. After having made a trip to Washington to address the Congress, Modi did not attend the annual general debate of the General Assembly.

December 30, 2016

Nepal and Japan are geographically distant but close in terms of culture, religion, way of life and sentiments. [...] Though diplomatic relations were established between Nepal and Japan only in 1956, a spiritual bond has existed since the introduction of Buddhism in Japan in the sixth century. This year, we are celebrating the diamond jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Japan. 

In the last month of President Barack Obama’s two terms, he is focused on the same foreign country when he began his presidency: Japan. [...] Eight years later, Tuesday, President Obama and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood together at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, to honor the sacrifices of Americans killed during the Japanese attack on U.S. warships 75 years ago. 

December 25, 2016

The year is slowly fading into darkness as per the Gregorian calendar (the most widely used civil calendar in the world today) and a new year is about to dawn. The last few days of the year are generally a time of celebrations and merriment across many parts of the world and these festivities have thrived for millennia.

In the Foreign Service, career officers are warned about the dangers of “localitis” or the development of so close an attachment to the place of assignment that one loses one’s nationalism or patriotism. [...] what can be called “collectivitis”: an inclination that later grew into something like a passion for collecting memorabilia of the history and culture of the countries we lived in or visited to take back home. 

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