Meet Devyani Khobragade, Indian Ambassador To Cambodia Who Dressed Up As 'Apsara' For Khmer New Year Celebrations

Meet Devyani Khobragade, Indian Ambassador To Cambodia Who Dressed Up As 'Apsara' For Khmer New Year Celebrations

The Indian mission characterised the cultural outreach as a manifestation of a "deep admiration for Khmer culture" and described her outing as "elegantly dressed Khmer Apsara."

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 09:01 AM IST
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Meet Devyani Khobragade, Indian Ambassador To Cambodia Who Dressed Up As 'Apsara' For Khmer New Year Celebrations |

Devyani Khobragade, an Indian Foreign Service officer and ambassador to Cambodia, has made the headlines yet again, albeit fleetingly. This time for taking cultural diplomacy several steps forward in the country she has been posted to. She dressed up as Apsara in a traditional Khmer costume for Khmer New Year celebrations.

The Indian mission characterised the cultural outreach as a manifestation of a "deep admiration for Khmer culture" and described her outing as "elegantly dressed Khmer Apsara."

Although many eye brows went up in appreciation, for not many can carry it off the way Ambassador Khobragade, a one time MBBS doctor, did, there were the usual demurrals.

The TMC spokesman and the second youngest MP, Saket Gokhale, bared his political fangs on X: "Over 5000 Indians are currently trapped in Cambodia and kept hostage by traffickers. But what's the Indian Ambassador there doing? Playing fancy dress by "dressing as an Apsara" and doing photo shoots."

He may be slightly off the tangent. It is questionable if her political boss Dr Jaishankar could have carried it off with similar aplomb but it may be gently pointed out that the Prime Minister too wears fancy dresses and headgear, often to strike a chord with the local population.

Ultimately, Devyani, a Maharashtrian, a certified yoga instructor, a distance runner and an author of two books is obviously a woman of many parts.

She is credited with writing a collection of short stories The White Sari and The Adventures of Young Ambedkar, a children's book. The book reimagines young Ambedkar's life.

But Devyani has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The authors coming out of the Ministry of External Affairs and dabbling in fiction are few and far between.

Among them: Navtej Sarna, Vikas Swarup, N Parthasarathy, Rajiv Dogra, T S Tirumurti and Nina Sibal; the poets are even fewer (Kanwal Sibal, Nirupama Menon Rao and Amarendra Khatua); and the children's witers are too few to mention. Other than Devyani there is Mitra Vashist.

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