A message written by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his native language during a visit to a Chinese temple, went through three rounds of translation before it could be understood by monks, media reported.
In his message to the Daxingshan Temple in Xi’an in Shaanxi province in the course of his three-day visit to China, the prime minister on Thursday praised a monk, Dharmagupta, a fellow Gujarati who lived at the temple during the Sui Dynasty, for his contributions to Buddhism and spoke of the monk’s search for world peace, Global Times reported.
However, his insights were lost on the monks; the message was in Modi’s native Gujarati, a West Indian language spoken by 46 million people that has few speakers in China, said Li Li’an, a professor from Xi’an’s Northwest University.
Li was first approached by the temple’s abbot to decipher the dedication. Li then sent it to his doctoral student Guan Xiujie, a native of India.
Recognising it as Gujarati, Guan sent the text to an Indian friend who translated it to Hindi. Guan then translated it into English, which Li finally presented in Chinese. Modi’s temple message confuses monks in China.