A colourful function on the 8th Festival of Russian Language and Literature kicked off at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Trivandrum on December 4, 2018. The highlight of the programme was the presentation of the Sergey Esenin Award for popularising Russian literature through translation. This year, the 10th in the series, the award was presented to the noted writer Mr. V.R. Govindanunni for his translation of the latest novel of Leo Tolstoy “Hodji Murat”.
The Chief Guest Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, internationally-acclaimed film-maker, inaugurated the festival.
In his address, Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan said that Indian writers were immensely influenced by the works of Russian writers. He added that the famous works of Russian writers had been widely translated into different Indian languages. The people of Kerala, he noted, thanks to their high literacy, love literature in Russian, and the translation available in Malayalam is a great advantage. And this helps them know the works of Russian writers. For instance, writers like Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and others still influence Indian readers. In the process, writers in Russian language easily could establish bondage with them. He said that this is not just confined in literature alone. Russian film-makers have a great influence on Indian movie-makers, too, he concluded.
Dr. Shashi Tharoor, M.P. (Lok Sabha), Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs, Government of India, delivered the key-note address. He pointed out that literature contributed greatly to cement the relationship between our two countries—India and Russia—and that has already set a fine example in this regard.
Mr. Fedor Rozovskiy, Head of the Cultural Department of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India and Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi, said that the interest in the learning of Russian language kept on increasing in India. He emphasised that the readership in Russian literature was also steadily increasing.
Mr. Rozovskiy, along with other dignitaries present, presented the Sergey Esenin Award to the writer Mr. V.R. Govindanunni for his contribution to popularising Russian literature through translation. Mr. V.R. Govindanunni made the acceptance speech.
Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation and Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Trivandrum Mr. Ratheesh C. Nair, and Journalist Mr. M. G. Radhakrishnan, also spoke on the occasion.
Following the official part of the function, a concert of the classical music was also formed part of the event. As part of the festival, there would also be a seminar, Olympiad, etc., would also be followed.