Cassian Baliarsingh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on his first state visit to the US, exchanged special gifts with Joe Biden, the President of the United States and First Lady Jill Biden at the White House, in Washington DC.

PM Modi gifted a handcrafted sandalwood box to President Biden and a green diamond to First Lady. The 7.5-carat green diamond reflects earth-minded diamonds chemical and optical properties. It is also eco-friendly, as eco-diversified resources like solar and wind power were used in its making.

Similarly, the special sandalwood box has been handcrafted by a master craftsman from Jaipur, Rajasthan from the sandalwood that has been sourced from Mysore, Karnataka and has intricately carved flora and fauna patterns.

On the other hand, the green diamond is placed in Papier mâché, also known as kar-e-kalamdani, Kashmir’s exquisite Papier mâché involves sakthsazior meticulous preparation of paper pulp and naqqashi, where skilled artisans paint elaborate designs.

It (Green Diamond) is a beacon of responsible luxury that symbolises India’s 75 years of freedom and sustainable International relations.
There is an idol of Lord Ganesha in the box. The idol has been handcrafted by a family of fifth-generation silversmiths from Kolkata.

The box also contains a diya (oil lamp) that occupies a sacred space in every Hindu household. This silver diya has also been handcrafted by artisans from the family of fifth-generation silversmiths in Kolkata.

Moreover, the box contains Ghee or clarified butter sourced from Punjab; a handwoven textured tussar silk cloth sourced from Jharkhand; long-grained rice sourced from Uttarakhand; Gud or Jaggery sourced from Maharashtra, a delicately handcrafted silver coconut by the skilled artisans of West Bengal is offered in place of a Cow for Gaudaan (donation of cow), a fragrant piece of sandalwood sourced from Mysore, Karnataka is offered in place of land for Bhudaan (donation of land), Til or white sesame seeds sourced from Tamil Nadu, offered for Tildaan (donation of sesame seeds), 24K pure and hallmarked gold coin is offered as Hiranyadaan (donation of gold), 99.5% pure and hallmarked silver coin that has been aesthetically crafted by Rajasthan artisans and is offered as Raupyadaan(donation of silver); Lavan or salt from Gujarat is offered for Lavandaan (donation of salt).

On the other hand, PM Modi received a handmade, antique American book galley from the early 20th Century from the Bidens. They also gifted him a vintage American camera and a hardcover book on American wildlife photography.