by Athens Bureau,
A Greek singer was praised by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, showing once again in this way that India and Greece have a lot of potential in improving cultural relations.
What the Indian PM said:
“During my #MannKiBaat radio program, Mr. Konstantinos Kalaitzis, who is Greek and has a passion for Indian culture and music, was praised.”
The excerpt is from episode 95 of Man ki Bat (Talks of the Mind) broadcast live on Sunday, November 27, 2022 by All India Radio.
Konstantinos Kalaitzis is from Aigaleo, Attiki and lives in Agios Stefanos. He has visited India over 30 times and toured in 15 more Asian countries. As a researcher and photographer he owns a rich and rare photographic collection, depicting the local people, flora, fauna and landscapes of those countries, as he says on his website.
His spiritual and also musical quests have led him to visit all the 29 states of India, as well as island and Himalayan regions.
As a hiker and mountaineer he has trekked and climbed in many places of the Himalaya range, in the countries of India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal and Pakistan, reaching the high altitude of 6.000 metres.
Searching the classical and folk music, as well as the classical and folk dances of the Indian peninsula, he collected 150 musical instruments, including all the classical instruments, many folk and many tribal ones, used by the musicians of the tribes he met. Those pieces are planned to be hosted in a museum.
He has played leading roles in two theatrical plays, in South India with topics from the Greek and the Indian philosophy. He has met many great Indian music instructors and performers of the vocal and instrumental Indian music.
He, himself, as a musician, plays the percussion instrument tabla and as a singer sings in various Indian languages the vocal styles bhajan, ghazal and qawwali of North India and the vocal style kriti of South India.
He has taken part in the “Island Tourism Festival”, which takes place annually in Port Blair, in the Andaman Islands, twice, singing in the Bengali, Urdu and the Hindi language. He also gave a concert in the vocal form qawwali in the Indian International Centre of N. Delhi.
In 2018 he was chosen to represent Greece, among other 155 countries, performing Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite song (bhajan) “Vaishnav Jan To”, on the occasion of the celebrations for Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary, organized by the Indian Government.
He was also invited to take part in the global participation (182 countries) of Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj by the Indian Embassy in Athens.
He has written a book which was recently published in Greek and is shortly going to be published in English, about Indian music and dances, in their classical and folk form, the great composers and poets and the musical instruments of India.