THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Call it ‘Thalapanthu’ diplomacy. On Wednesday, students from eight Russian cities will share traditional games with their counterparts at the Saraswathi Vidyalaya, Vattiyoorkavu, where the first Indo-Russian Students’ Club is being formed. The Russian youngsters will be taught games like ‘Thalapanthu’, ‘Seventies’, ‘Kilithattu’, ‘Kabaddi’ and ‘Kho-Kho’ and they will teach their Indian counterparts traditional Russian games. The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Saraswathi Vidyalaya.
The Russian students are visiting Kerala as part of the programme ‘People’s Diplomacy of the New Generation’ of the Moscow Institute of International Relations.
The idea is to promote understanding of culture by encouraging camaraderie between the younger generations of the two nations, Russia’s Honorary Consul in Thiruvananthapuram Ratheesh C Nair said.
This is also the idea behind the Indo-Russian Students Club, he said. Clubs will be opened in all schools that are willing.
Teaching of Russian language, sports like chess will be undertaken by the clubs. Also, members of the clubs will be given priority for Russian scholarships.
‘’The relationship between the people of both nations is founded on cultural exchanges over time. That is why the relations did not diminish even when the USSR fell.
The effort now is to encourage the younger generation to carry on the relationship,’’ Ratheesh C Nair said.