ROME (C.M. Paul) – Indian Embassy official graced the second day Christmas cultural celebrations organized by Chavara Institute of Indian and Interreligious Studies (CIIS) Rome. Some 40 friends of the institute participated in the hour long event, 18 December. The first day (17 December) Christmas event consisted of a spiritual discourse by Dr. Mathew Karawatt on “The Lord’s Prayer-A Reflective Reading from an Indian Perspective.”
The Second Secretary of the Indian Embassy Rome in charge of Information & Culture Mr Ravindra Nath Kajla along with his wife Mrs Vimala Kajla, not only arrived well ahead of scheduled time but also spend time getting to know participants. In his brief Christmas message, Mr. R. N. Kajla IFS said “it is the duty of religious preachers to call for tolerance and peace,” reminding all of the religiously intolerant and vitiated atmosphere that has surfaced in India in the recent past.
Second speaker of the day Fr Paul Cheruthottupuram from the Salesian University after presenting a scenario of religious tolerance and harmony existing in Kolkata reminded participants the angels’ message of “peace to people of good will” at the first Christmas. He also called on all to be ambassadors of good will, to be harbingers of peace.
Christmas carols by Miss Miele from Lebanon set off the cultural celebrations followed by song and dance from children as well as adults.
The CIIS Rome is manned by Dr. Isaac Arickappalil and managed by the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), the first indigenous religious congregation of India. Established in 1980s it fosters studies and reserach in the fields of Interreligious dialogue and Eastern Christianity. It also helps people recognize and appreciate the religious, cultural and spiritual values of the ancient religions of India aiming at a mutually enriching and meaningful encounter between the East and the West.