Carolina Trautner, Bavarian State Minister of Family, Labour and Social Affairs
Carolina Trautner, Bavarian State Minister of Family, Labour and Social Affairs

Ministers, mayors in South Germany extends Diwali wishes through video messages

ANI | Updated: Nov 13, 2020 23:06 IST


New Delhi [India], November 13 (ANI): In a first of its kind, high ranking ministers and mayors of cities in South Germany partnered with the Consulate General of India in Munich for first virtual Diwali celebrations.
Coming against the backdrop of the current pandemic, the video greetings and the positive messages conveyed by the politicians from South Germany struck a special chord among the Indian Diaspora and Friends of India. The Diwali greetings were conveyed through the traditional Indian greeting "Namaste" which has now gained prominence all over the world as a part of hygiene protocol.

In his message, the State Minister of the Free State of Bavaria, Florian Herrmann, on behalf of Bavarian Minister-President, Markus Soeder, conveyed his Diwali greetings. State Minister Herrmann said that the celebration of the festival is a testimony to the diversity and cultural richness of India as well as the optimism and deep spirituality of its people.
Calling Diwali as a ray of light and hope in these difficult times, he called out to confront this pandemic by observing hygiene rules. Acknowledging the role of the Indian Diaspora, he termed India as an 'important and key partner' with which he looked forward to a more engaging and intensive partnership.
"Namaste and a heartfelt greeting from Bavaria for the festival of lights. On the behalf of Bavarian Minister-President, Markus Soeder, I wish all people of Indian origin in Bavaria and all over the world a happy and peaceful Diwali festival. The coronavirus pandemic is presenting us with great challenges all over the world and although it is crucial to keep a distance from each other, one thing is still true: together we are stronger. We Bavarians are counting on international cooperations to meet this global challenge," he said.

Conveying the warm Diwali greetings from the Minister-President of Baden Wuerttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, the Baden Wuerttemberg State Minister Theresa Schopper congratulated the Indian Diaspora and called Diwali as a festival of hope which, as in the past, will steer us through the difficult times. She recalled that Diwali is associated with Goddess Lakshmi and hoped that prosperity and well being of the people will prevail in the world.
Bernd Sibler, Bavarian State Minister for Science & Arts said that Diwali symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. In the context of the pandemic, he also said that it is a time for reflection and prayers and to show our commitment to fellow human beings.

"The holiday is a symbol of eternal hope. With this festival you honour the light that is shared across continent and cultures This festival honours the triumph of knowledge over ignorance and good over evil," Sibler said.

It may be mentioned that Bavaria is home to about 3000 Indian students who are pursuing mostly master's degree course in Science and Technology. Bavaria has also announced an ambitious hi-tech agenda programme amounting to two billion Euros with emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, digitization and upgrading of technical universities.

Similarly, Carolina Trautner, Bavarian State Minister of Family, Labour and Social Affairs; Dr Florian Janik, Lord Mayor, Erlangen; Dr Frank Mentrup, Mayor, Karlsruhe; Juergen Kessing, Lord Mayor, Bietigheim-Bissingen; Markus Ibert, Lord Mayor, Lahr; Gunter Czisch, Lord Mayor, Ulm; Mr Peter Reiss, Lord Mayor, Schwabach; Ms Margret Mergen, Baden-Baden; Mr Franz Feigl, Lord Mayor, Koenigsbrunn; Dr Christian Moser, Lord Mayor, Deggendorf; Mr Alexander Putz, Lord Mayor, Landshut; Sorya Lippert, Deputy Mayor, Schweinfurt; Dr Alexandra Sussmann, Deputy Mayor, Stuttgart appreciated the contribution of Indian Diaspora and underlined the importance of Diwali to make a new beginning and strengthen the resolve of people to combat COVID-19. Diwali celebrations kick start the festive season which runs from mid-November to early January 2021. Consumer spending is critical for economic revival and boosts trade and investment.
Trautner started her address with 'Namaste' and said: "Light ends the darkness. This message of Diwali comes at exactly the right time. And it gives us courage and hope. Hope for a happy new year and the courage to embrace the time we are given."
South Germany comprises two important economic states of Bavaria and Baden Wuerttemberg with a combined GDP of Euro 1,157 billion Euro and constitutes approx 33 per cent of Germany's GDP. Both the states are known for their prowess in automobiles and engineering and global companies like Daimler, BMW, VW, Porsche, Audi, Siemens, SAP, Bosch, Allianz are household names in India.
In addition, the two provinces are home to hundreds of Mittelstand (MSME) companies which are considered as the "hidden champions" for their innovative strength and form the backbone of the German economy in terms of exports.
State and city partnerships have consolidated the relations between India and South Germany. Bavaria has a state partnership with Karnataka and Maharashtra with Baden Wuerttemberg. Similarly, city partnerships such as Mumbai and Stuttgart; Coimbatore and Esslingen; Pune and Karlsruhe have further cemented the economic and cultural partnership. Mumbai and Stuttgart have completed 52 years of city partnership.

The Consulate General of India in Munich overlooks the states of Bavaria and Baden Wuerttemberg who have been strong partners under the "Make in India" initiative. Apart from the big global German companies, about 700 Mittelstand companies from South Germany have made their base in India contributing significantly to AatmaNirbhar Bharat. (ANI)

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