Sitharaman Teaches ‘Namaste’ to Chinese Soldiers in Nathu La

Sitharaman is seen waving at Chinese soldiers who were taking her pictures in Nathu La on Saturday upon her arrival.

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Nirmala Sitharaman waving at Chinese soldiers from across the fence, who were taking pictures on her reaching Nathu La. 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had a brief conversation with Chinese soldiers during her maiden visit to the Nathu La border post in Sikkim, and was even seen teaching them how to say 'Namaste'.

A short video of her interaction with the Chinese soldiers yesterday was posted today by the Defence Minister's official Twitter handle, where she was seen in the clip greeting the PLA personnel with a "namaste".

“Do you know what 'Namaste' means,” Sitharaman was seen asking one of the People's Liberation Army personnel who appeared confused and said Namaste while trying to explain the meaning.


At this point, some Indian soldiers tried to come to the assistance of their Chinese counterparts, but Sitharaman asked them to let the PLA men find the meaning on their own.

After some time, one of the soldiers, with a smile on his face, said “Namaste means nice to meet you.” Then Sitharaman asked, “What would you say in Chinese?”. The Chinese soldier responded, “Ni hao”, triggering laughter on both sides.

Earlier, one of the Chinese soldiers was seen introducing his commander to Sitharaman. The video has gone viral on the social media. On 7 October, Sitharaman had posted a photo of her waving at the Chinese troops.

The Defence Minister, on a day's visit to Sikkim, travelled by road to Nathu La, 52 km from Gangtok, and interacted with the Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police officials posted there. Upon arrival, Sitharaman was accorded with a Guard of Honour.

She was also briefed about the security preparedness along the Sino-India border in the Sikkim region by the Chief of Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna.

Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present at the time. In a tweet, Sitharaman is seen offering sweets to Army men.

The Defence Minister’s visit to the Sino-India border comes more than a month since Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after nearly a 70-day standoff at Dokalam.

(With inputs from PTI)

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