THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When Ivan Larionov penned the lyrics ‘Kalinka, Kalinka, Kalinka Moya’ in 1860, little must the folklorist have guessed that more than 150 years later, the song would help cement ties between students of two nations. ‘Little snowberry, snowberry, snowberry of mine’ was sung with verve by visiting Russian high school students at the Saraswathi Vidyalaya, Vattiyoorkavu, much to the amusement of their Indian counterparts.
Ten students from the Russian cities of Moscow, St Petersburg, Perm, Yaroslav, Nizhny Novgorodov, Kuznesk and Ulfa visited Saraswathi Vidyalaya on Wednesday as part of a new initiative, Indo-Russian Students’ Club, the first of which was opened at the school.
The day got off with the Malayali students teaching their Russian counterparts traditional games such as ‘Kilithattu’, ‘Kho-Kho’ and ‘Kabaddi.’ Later, the Russian visitors attended the formation of the Indo-Russian Students’ Club, where a joint declaration to ‘’incessantly strive to strengthen the relations between the two nations’’ was made.
The Russian delegation was led by Yulia Golovina, director of the International School of Youth Diplomacy, Moscow.
The ten students included Ilya Tetukhov, the first chairman of the club; Diana Kubagusheva, Ksenia Myasnikova, Bogdan Tetukhov, Maxim Koklov, Arthur Bagopov, Anastasia Zhirakova, Ekaterina Maslova, Sophia Tepliakova and Alina Kvarazhelia.
Russia’s honorary consul in Thiruvananthapuram said the students’ club opens a new chapter in Indo-Russian relations.
It will enable language studies, among other things, and members will have preference for future scholarships offered by Russia, he said.
School patron G Rajmohan also was present. The Russian delegation, which arrived in Kerala on January 7, will leave for Moscow on January 13.