Group participation at Seoul International Book Fair 2013 by Indian publishers

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The first visitor to pavilion put up by India, the guest of honour country at Seoul International Book Fair 2013, was Park Geun-hye, president of the Republic of Korea, who was received by Jitin Prasada, minister of state for Human Resource Development, Government of India. Prasada took her around the India Pavilion, which had a huge replica of Sanchi Gate as the main entrance and also gifted her the first copy of the graphic novel ‘Sriratna & Kim Suro: The Legend of an Indian Princess in Korea’ published by National Book Trust, the nodal agency for the co-ordination of Guest of Honour programmes at Seoul International Book Fair. Written by N Parthasarathi and illustrated by Soumitra Dasgupta, the book tells the story of the Princess Sriratna marrying King Kim Suro of Korea in AD 48. Together they founded the Gaya Kingdom in Korea. The president showed keen interest in the Buddha sculpture, Buddhist literature and exhibition of books on Mahatma Gandhi. Among the stopovers at the huge India Pavilion spread over 1,000 sq m was a corner dedicated to the books on Indian cinema.

Later, Jitin Prasada, who led the delegation of 40 Indian publishing professionals including many CEOs and MDs of publishing houses, six authors, and senior officials, formally inaugurated the India Pavilion by releasing the above graphic novel and ten books of National Book Trust, translated in Korean language. Speaking on the occasion, Jitin Prasada stated, “I am sure Indian publishers present here will seek opportunity to have strong tie-ups in the field of publishing children literature, digital publishing, Indology and Buddhist literature.” Complimenting the efforts of National Book Trust, India for putting up a ‘magnificent India Pavilion’, he stated, “The range of books that have been put on display, alongwith the colourful posters, have spread very vibrant feelings.”

A Sethumadhavan, chairman, in his welcome speech hoped that the presence of India at SIBF would create a better perception about Indian publishing and literary scene in Korea. While, Vishnu Prakash, ambassador of India to Korea and Eric Yang, executive director, Korean Publishers’ Association also spoke on the occasion. M A Sikandar, director, NBT proposed a vote-of-thanks after a Kathak dance performance organised by Indian Cultural Centre, Embassy of India.

Later in the day, an illustrators’ workshop with 25 Korean children was organised, wherein the children illustrated the story of Geeta Dharmarajan under the supervision of the eminent artist Suddhosatwa Basu.

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