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MOSCOW, RUSSIA, April 9, 2001: Russia is perhaps the only European country where the Valmiki Ramayana, the story of Lord Rama written by the Hindu sage Valmiki, has sold tens of thousands of copies in Russian. More than a thousand people offered prayers and tributes to the Hindu God Ram in the first ever Ramnavami celebrations, at which Russian artists and writers who took Ram's story to the people were felicitated. The Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Center (JNCC) at Moscow organized a function to honor those who are associated with translating and staging the Ramayana as a play in Russia. While eminent Indologist Alexander Baranikov first translated the Ramayana into Russian in 1948, Natalia Guseva, another prominent scholar on India, had written the script for a play based on the Indian epic that was staged in Moscow Children's Theatre in the Soviet Union for the first time in 1957. The Ramayana, popularly perceived as a tale of triumph of good over evil, is used extensively for inculcating noble values in Russian children, and has been staged in scores of cities many times over during the past five decades.