With ‘Vanakkam’, Clinton charms audience

July 20th, 2011 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 20 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on her maiden visit here, Wednesday bowled over the audience at the Anna Centenary Library auditorium by greeting them with the Tamil salutation ‘Vanakkam’.

Clinton flew in here in the afternoon and addressed students, opinion makers and other prominent citizens for nearly 45 minutes, speaking on how the US sees India as a strategic player in Asia.

She pleasantly surprised the audience by greeting them with ‘Vanakkam’, to which the crowd responded with huge applause.

Clinton also said that Tamil Nadu is one of the most industrialised, globalised and educated state in the country and the library — one of the biggest in the country — is fit to be located in Chennai.

Referring to the maritime trade of Indians that existed thousands of years ago, Clinton said the temples of Angkor Wat in Combodia showed the influence of Tamil architecture.

“Lord Ganesha is there in Indonesian homes,” she said.

Prominent people who came to hear her were industrialists V.L. Dutt and Pratap C. Reddy, dancer Padma Subramaniam, actors Kamal Hassan and Goutami, among others. Students from around 10 colleges were also present.

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