A single word that captures India’s essence is its diversity.
With a population of more than a billion people, multiple religions and thousands of tongues, Indian culture, in its 70th year of Independence, has ensured for the people despite, their age, origins and beliefs, an ingrained sense of their cultural heritage. The country while marking 70 years as an independent democratic republic, stands for its core values of inclusiveness, peace, and progress. Amidst this transformational seven-decade long journey, has been the steady formation of a variegated, multifaceted and flavourful cultural matrix created by a formidable past legacy and a new contemporary identity.
Continuous exploration and experimentation of the complexities of ancient traditions have brought India’s classical arts into a modern idiom which is acclaimed across continents.
India and the UK, bound together through the inextricable threads of history, have been friends and allies who have facilitated mutual progress across economics, business, science, and culture. India is the 3rd largest investor country in the UK, the 2nd largest international job creator in UK and one of the fastest growing economies.
In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced 2017 as the India-UK Year of Culture, to celebrate our deep cultural ties and the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence.
Celebrating 70 years of Indo-UK relations
Performing arts and music remain the backbone of a country’s cultural and spiritual legacy and are a definitive equalising force. People sing and dance, tell stories and celebrate their differences and cultures on street corners and shanty towns, in amphitheatres and auditoriums, in temple complexes and pilgrimage sites.
Celebrating 70 years of Indo-UK relations by bringing a slice of the cultural diversity that is India, India at UK2017, will blend in artistic traditions from the UK and will be organized by the Indian High Commission, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Ministry of Culture, and festival producer, Teamwork Arts, in association with key institutions in the UK across premier venues. The programme will present iconic strands from India with a series of exciting events through the year in the UK which will showcase a varied cultural repast which embodies India through literature, dance, music, theatre, crafts, cricket, Bollywood, science and military glory.
The India UK Year of Culture was launched by the Queen at a glittering reception in Buckingham Palace on February 27th, 2017 which was attended by by close to 200 eminent persons from the cultural arena including sports, theatre, dance, films, art, design, food etc. The Earl of Wessex, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Eugenie attended also attended the reception.
Upon arrival, guests were treated to Indian-themed performances and a special Indian menu of canapés made by royal chefs working alongside chefs from Veeraswamy, the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant. A striking peacock image was projected onto the front façade of the Buckingham Palace, the peacock being the national bird of India.