The Embassy of India in Athens awarded its highest civilian honour, the prestigious Padma Shri Award, to noted Greek Indologist Professor Nicholas Kazanas for his distinguished service in literature and education on India’s Republic Day, 26 January.
Prof Kazanas was conferred with the award by the Ambassador of India to Greece, Amrit Lugun, in a small ceremony at the embassy in Athens that was also attended by Greek Indology academics Dimitrios Vassiliadis, Pavlos Kavouras and Leda Santala.
The awards are usually conferred by the President of India at his official residence Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi around March and April each year.
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Prof Kazanas is only the second Greek to be conferred the award. The late ambassador to India Dimitris Velissropoulos was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002.
Elinepa.org reported that Professor Kazanas was born in Chios in 1939. He studied English Literature at University College, Economic and Philosophy at the School of Economic Science and Sanskrit at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He was also a post-graduate at SOAS and at the Deccan College in Pune, India.
In 1997, he focused his attention to the Vedic Tradition of India and its place in Indo-European culture by comparing languages, mythological traditions, religions as well as philosophical ideas and values.
He translated from the original Sanskrit into Greek 10 principal texts from the Hindu Upanishads. He also wrote several books and articles on Vedic and other philosophical and religious matters.