Melania Trump visited on Tuesday a government school in the Indian capital of New Delhi that teaches a special “happiness curriculum”, rooted in mindfulness practices. Sporting a traditional red “tilak” dot on her forehead and wearing a garland of marigolds, Trump watched children at the school play, do yoga, and perform a bhangra dance. The tilak on Melania’s forehead, meaning mark in Hinduism, is worn daily or for rites of passage or special religious occasions only.
Melania said: “It is very inspiring to me that the students here begin each day with mindfulness.
“I cannot think of a better way for all of us to start our day.”
The “happiness curriculum” was launched by the left-leaning Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2018 as a way to foster social skills by having children engage in mindfulness practices, storytelling and drawing, the party said on its website.
“For centuries, India has taught spirituality to the world. I am happy that she will take back the message of happiness from our school,” Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi and a member of the AAP, said on Twitter about Trump’s visit.
US President Donald Trump is sitting down with Indian leaders on Tuesday for talks on arms sales and festering trade disputes that have strained ties in recent months.
The Trumps leave India on Tuesday night.
Melania added: “This is my first visit to India and I cannot express how delightful it is.
“The president and I are grateful to be guests.”
More than $63million (£48.3million) was spent on Trump’s three-hour visit to Ahmedabad for clean roads, cultural events and security, according to Indian media.
The preparations included planting 100,000 trees and flower beds as well as resurfacing more than a dozen roads.
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For the visit, Melania had assembled a 10-member group of women to assist her.
The First Lady was met by her team upon arrival, headed by a female Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
The group had reportedly been given special training including “how to talk” with Melania.
The team had been ordered to wear trousers and blazers instead of their customary khaki uniform, according to the Financial Express.
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