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Cultural and sporting links

[Gandhi Statue unveiled to the Wales India Community]

Welsh and Indian culture share a love of music, arts and sport. Bollywood films are shot on location in Wales and there are World famous Welsh Literature festivals, such as the Hay festival, that was hosted in Kerala. There are a lot of cultural exchanges between our two nations, read on to find out more.

Our countries are also linked through art., the Charles Wallace India Trust along with the British Council and the Arts Council of Wales supported a series of exchanges between visual artists from Rajasthan and Wales during the period 1993-1998. In 2017 eleven Welsh arts projects have been created to showcase both cultures here in Wales and in India, as part of the UK-India 2017 cultural season, such as the dance film Liminality shot in Wales and India. 

[Liminality - Photo copyright Janire Najera]

Several Bollywood films have been shot in locations throughout Wales. In 2004 ‘Kuan Hai Sapno Mein Aaya?’ starring Anupam Kher and Khader Khan used Caerphilly Castle in south Wales as a backdrop for filming. In the same year Kyun! Gaya Na was filmed in Llanberis and Dolbadarn Castle in north Wales, starring Aishwarya Rai and Vivek Oberoi. In 2015, Eskay Movies, an India-based film company produced Aashiqui, a love story in the Welsh capital Cardiff. The producers made use of our world class studios

As part of the First Minister of Wales’ Trade Mission to India in 2012, Wales Arts International (WAI) supported singer Gwyneth Glyn and Donal Whelan from Hafod Mastering, to travel to India to develop new artistic and business opportunities. Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival

Hay Festival India

The Hay festival is traditionally held in its home town of Hay-on-Wye in mid Wales.  In 2017 the festival held four events including Indian (poets, authors and the band Khameira to celebrate the vibrant cultural exchange between the two countries.

In November 2010 the Indian state of Kerala hosted a line-up of over 50 authors, thinkers and performers from across the world, including Gujarati writer Tishani Doshi, for the internationally renowned Hay Festival.

Other links include:

  • Artes Mundi - The largest art prize in the UK, Artes Mundi recognises and supports international contemporary visual artists and, through this, brings the world to Wales when the biennial international Exhibition and Prize  takes place in Cardiff. Acclaimed Indian artist, N S Harsha, won the prize in 2008 and reinvested the award in developing emerging local Indian artists.
  • India Wales Writers Chain - The India-Wales Writers' Chain, developed by the British Council and Wales Arts International, aims to develop cultural links between India and Wales through literature.
  • Walking cities - Walking Cities is a project developed by British Council and Wales Arts International which has paired Indian and Welsh writers giving them the opportunity to tour each other’s home cities and region through the eyes of the local host.

A shared love of sport

We love sport. Just like many people in India, we enjoy a variety of sport including golf and cricket. Wales is home to around 200 golf courses so there are plenty to choose from. Plus we regularly host international cricket matches including a few international matches over recent years at the SEE Swalec stadium vs India.

We love soccer in Wales, particularly since our National team reached the semi final of Euro 2016 tournament. Its one of the most popular participation sports in Wales and there are opportunities for people to get involved in local teams. Swansea City competes in the Premier League – the most watched sports league in the world.

Diwali

Diwali is perhaps the biggest celebration of Indian culture in Wales. Wales hosts an event every year and this year’s  official event will take place on 19 October at the Wales Millennium Centre.  As in previous years, there will be some brief speeches followed by a cultural performance and Indian food. A Diwali Mela will also take place at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. The family-friendly event last year lasted for 6 hours and included Bollywood music and dance, fashion shows and Bangra music. Families across Wales will also hold their own celebrations.