ASEAN: Singapore's leading ballet enthralls leaders with musical Ramayana

Cast and crew of Rama Hari perform Ramayana at the ASEAN Summit. Photo: @narendramodi
A musical performance based on the epic Ramayana today drew loud applause from several world leaders and delegates at a grand opening ceremony of the two- day ASEAN summit.

The play reflected India's cultural linkages with the Philippines and several member countries of the 10-member powerful bloc.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and several other leaders from ASEANs partner countries attended the glitzy opening ceremony at the highly fortified Cultural Centre in this bustling metropolis.

The Ramayana in the Philippines is called 'Maharadia Lawana' which means king Ravana. The Philippines' famous dance is called 'Singkil' which is based on the Ramayana.

Modi tweeted: 

You would be happy to know that the @ASEAN opening ceremony included excerpts from the musical Rama Hari, based on the Ramayana. Various parts of the Ramayana were beautifully highlighted in the Rama Hari. This shows our deep historical bonds and shared heritage. pic.twitter.com/hLNQnSmmAs

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 13, 2017

The musical performance was choreographed by Alice Reyes of Ballet Philippines, a leading ballet company in the country founded in 1969.

The prime minister said the Ramayana is widely popular among ASEAN nations and he complimented the cast and crew of the play for their "stupendous performance".

"ASEAN celebrates 50 years of robust cooperation and working towards a better tomorrow. India cherishes the strong ties with the @ASEAN family," Modi said.

The ASEAN leaders later began deliberations at the summit which is taking place under the shadow of China's growing military build-up in the resource-rich South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea- a huge source of hydrocarbons. However, several ASEAN member countries including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei have countered the Chinese claims.

India has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the South China Sea in accordance with principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The ASEAN have been pushing for a legally binding code of conduct for all stakeholders in the South China sea but Beijing has been opposing such a framework asserting that it will resolve the dispute with respective countries under bilateral mechanism.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel