'Do you know what ‘namaste’ means?' Sitharaman asked the Chinese soldiers. They did; the Chinese equivalent they told her was 'Ni hao'. Photograph: (Twitter)
A video of the interaction was posted on Sitharaman's official Twitter account
Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman was seen sharing a laugh with Chinese soldiers, and teaching them how to say "namaste", on her first visit to the Nathu La border post in Sikkim.
The video was posted on her official Twitter account.
In the video, she can be heard asking the PLA personnel: “Do you know what ‘mamaste’ means?”
After a Chinese soldier says "Namaste means nice to meet you", Sitharaman goes on to ask “What would you say in Chinese?”
To which a Chinese soldier replies “Ni hao", much to the amusement of everybody present.
Sitharaman visited forward areas along the India-China border in Sikkim Sunday.
Nathu La is some 30 km from Doklam, where the Indian and Chinese armies recently faced-off from each other for 73 days.
Sitharaman was visiting the area amidst reports that China had strengthened its military presence on the Doklam Plateau and had also started widening an existing road -- the Doklam standoff had been triggered by Chinese road-building activity -- some 12 km from the Doklam face-off site.