On January 18-20, 2013, at Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, the State Women University in Haryana, North India, the International Conference on South-East-East Asia and India: Historical Interconnections in Art, Architecture and Culture of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam was held. It was organized by the English Department of BPSMV and the Centre for Indic-Asian Studies headed by Prof Kapil Kapoor, Delhi, the expert in Indian literature and culture, the author of many monographs in English and Hindi.
More than 20 presentations were submitted at the conference by scholars from various institutions of India, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and Russia. Several honored guests took part in the sessions such as Lord Diljit Singh Rama, a member of the House of Lords, the UK, Ambassador J.C. Sharma, a former Indian diplomat who had worked in Vietnam and Cambodia; Prof M.K. Byrsky, Warsaw University, who had been the first Polish Ambassador to India after the end of the Communist power in Poland (he stayed at BPMSV as a visiting professor); Mr P. Opalinsky, a representative of the Polish Embassy to Delhi.
The Russian participant of the conference, Dr Alexander V. Zorin, the IOM RAS, submitted a presentation on Hindu-Buddhist Syncretism in the Trans-Himalaya and Southeast Asia: An Attempt of Comparative Study of Religious Literature of Tibet and Bali, he was also appointed a chairperson for one of the sessions.
For convenience of the participants the organizers prepared a special brochure with info on the university, program and abstracts of the papers and a brochure with texts of the national anthems of Cambodia, India, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Moreover, memorable certificates were offered (see below). The book of collected papers is going to be published later.
On the final day of the conference, the participants were taken to Kurukshetra, the legendary place of action of the great Indian epics Mahabharata. Particularly, they could see the sacred lake on the place where the Hero Arjuna fought the enemies on the chariot led by the God Krishna and the place where Krishna preached Bhagavad-gita to him.
The statue of Bhagat Phool Singh, the founder of the BPSMV
The symbol of BPSMV
The main building of the University
The valedictory inauguration of the conference
Gusts of honor perform the lamp-lightning ritual
The BPSMV’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Pankaj Mittal offers memorial tokens to Ambassador J.C. Sharma (center - Lord Diljit Singh Rama)
Lord Diljit Singh Rama delivers his speech
Prof K. Byrsky delivers his speech
Prof K. Kapoor delivers his speech
At the sessions
Dr Hawon Ku, South Korea, submits her presentation
Prof Do Thu Ha, Vietnam, submits her presentation
Prof K. Kapoor and Prof S.K. Bhatia
Dr A. Zorin and Dr Dh. Singh
Dr A. Zorin chairs one of the sessions
S. Bhattacharya submits his presentation
Dr A. Zorin and the scholars at the English Department, BPSMV
Trip to Kurukshetra
The sacred lake on the place where Arjuna and Krishna fought their enemies
The Hindu temple on the shore of the lake
The Hindu Temple on the place where Bhagavad-gita was preached
The sacred banyan tree worshipped as a witness of the legendary sermon
The memorable certificate of a conference participant
Text and photos by A. Zorin