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'Sanskrit made sense': Indian-origin doc takes oath as New Zealand MP in Sanskrit

'Sanskrit made sense': Indian-origin doc takes oath as New Zealand MP in Sanskrit

Decision to take oath in Sanskrit surprised many, while others appreciated Gaurav Sharma for showing deep respect for cultural traditions of both India and New Zealand

Dr Gaurav Sharma was elected as a member of New Zealand Parliament from Hamilton Dr Gaurav Sharma was elected as a member of New Zealand Parliament from Hamilton

An Indian-origin doctor, Dr Gaurav Sharma, who was elected as a member of the New Zealand Parliament, has created history by taking oath in Sanskrit. Sharma hails from Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh. He is Member of Parliament for Hamilton West in New Zealand. The 33-year-old Dr Gaurav won the election as a Labour Party candidate.

The decision to take oath in Sanskrit surprised many, while others appreciated him for showing deep respect for cultural traditions of both India and New Zealand. On specifically choosing Sanskrit over other languages like Hindi or English, Sharma said he wanted to pay homage to all Indian languages and Sanskrit made sense.

"To be honest I did think of that, but then there was the question of doing it in Pahari (my first language) or Punjabi. Hard to keep everyone happy. Sanskrit made sense as it pays homage to all the Indian languages (including the many I can't speak)," he tweeted.

High Commission to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi appreciated Sharma for taking oath in one of the oldest languages of the world. "Dr Gaurav Sharma, one of the youngest, newly elected MPs in NZ Parliament took oath today, first in NZ's indigenous Maori language, followed by India's classical language- Sanskrit, showing deep respect for cultural traditions of both India and New Zealand," tweeted Pardeshi.

A doctor by profession, Sharma won from the Hamilton West by defeating Tim Macindoe of the National Party by over 4,386 votes. He had moved to New Zealand in 1996. Remembering the early struggles his family had to do to survive in the foreign country, Sharma told The Tribune that his family had seen a tough time initially as his father could not get a permanent job for six long years.

"I am in politics for social service, as my family has gone through a lot of hardships. What really helped us was social security, which New Zealand did really well - not so much now, though," he told the news daily.

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