When he landed at the Chennai airport on Friday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore his trademark kurta-pyjama. But a few hours later, when he welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram near here, Modi was clad in Tamil Nadu’s traditional veshti, angavastram and a short-sleeve white shirt, a sartorial choice that won admiration from many, including political parties.
Later, as he conversed with his Chinese counterpart at the Five Rathas monument, the Prime Minister offered a tender coconut to the visiting foreign dignitary and the two leaders relished the drink, considered good for health.
Pattali Makkal Katchi founder leader S Ramadoss said the Prime Minister donning veshti, the traditional dress of Tamils, was a matter of joy. “Let the world know the culture of Tamils,” he said on a social media post.
Earlier, Xi was treated to Tamil cultural performances by folk dancers and Bharatanatyam artistes when he landed here.
About 500 Tamil folk artistes rendered performances, including tappattam, and poi kal kuthirai while a group of colourfully dressed women presented a Bharatanatyam programme to the accompaniment of thavil and nadaswaram (traditional percussion and wind instruments respectively) music.
A smiling Xi waved at the artistes as he paused briefly before moving on slowly. Temple priests with traditional honours greeted him before he boarded his car.