The glitzy opening ceremony ahead of two-day ASEAN summit witnessed a beautiful musical performance of the epic Ramayana on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and several other leaders from ASEAN’s s partner countries in attendance. “You would be happy to know that the @ASEAN opening ceremony included excerpts from the musical Rama Hari, based on the Ramayana. Various parts of the Ramayana were beautifully highlighted in the Rama Hari. This shows our deep historical bonds and shared heritage,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

“ASEAN celebrates 50 years of robust cooperation and working towards a better tomorrow. India cherishes the strong ties with the @ASEAN family,” PM Modi further said. In Philippines where the ASEAN summit is being held, Ramayana is known as ‘Maharadia Lawana’ which translates to king Ravana. The dance ‘Singkii’ in the country is based on the Ramayana. Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar also took to Twitter to shower praises upon the act. “Inspired by our Epics. The ballet company Rama Hari presents the musical version of #Ramayana, an epic narrative that is a shared heritage among the ASEAN member states,” he said.

What is noteworthy is that this is not the first time Ramayana has been showcased at the summit. Ramayana was performed at the semi-annual meeting in Laos too last year. On the sidelines of ASEAN summit, PM Modi will also hold talks with US President Donald Trump and Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. Ahead of his meeting with Mr Trump, PM Modi termed the US President a ‘friend’. This is the 25th year of the India-ASEAN dialogue partnership. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.