Cultural exchange between India and the Netherlands increasing

May 2006 -

India is more a continent than a country. With 1.2 billion inhabitants, it is home to one sixth of the world's population and will soon become a super power. Its culture is proportionately large, diverse and subject to continual change. Western influence on the Indian culture is rapidly and forcefully increasing. The cultural sector of the Netherlands is also gaining ground in India. However, attention for the Indian culture in the Netherlands is also steadily increasing.

In the summer of 2005, if only for a short period, Amsterdam was invaded by the Indian film industry with the presentation of the IIFA Awards, the Oscars for Bollywood. For many years now the Tropenmuseum has facilitated cultural exchange with India in the areas of music and dance. The Amsterdam knowledge institution De Waag also established Sarai there, a centre for the study and development of old and new media.

The cultural sector of the Netherlands is also finding room for cooperation in India. In addition to a large number of Dutch films at various festivals, jazz musicians, visual artists and dancers can display their artistic endeavors. The Korzo Theater in The Hague is even working together with Indian partners to establish a dance studio in which Dutch choreographers can create productions by participating in exchange projects.

The biggest obstacle for cultural organizations in the Netherlands is the controlling bureaucratic culture that is typified by a lack of direction from above, many small-scale activities and a lack of interaction.
Dutch development organizations active in India, however, often have networks. Strong cooperation between the cultural sector in the Netherlands and these organizations can therefore work miracles.

The SICA is organizing a meeting in Felix Meritis in Amsterdam on 19 May titled "New India and opportunities for the cultural sector of the Netherlands".