Organised by Belfast City Council, venues across the city will play host to a wide range of events celebrating Indian culture, business and education during the week of 22- 29 June.
Among the highlights will be an Indian Bazaar in the City Hall on Saturday 22 June with free workshops on Indian dance; flower arranging; henna tattoo decorating and Indian massage. The Big Screen at the City Hall will be showing the film “Taare Zameen Par” (Like Stars on Earth) on Tuesday 25 June with special screenings also taking place in the QFT that week of films by Satyajit Ray – ‘Pather Panchali’ and ‘The Chess Players’.
Famous for its cricket, a special match has been organised at Woodvale Cricket Club on Wednesday 26 June with local schools from Belfast also receiving free cricket coaching lessons that morning.
A free exhibition charting the history of Belfast’s engineering family, James Mackie & Sons, and their rich industrial heritage links with India is also not to be missed during India Week. The Mackie ‘Men of Steel’ exhibition will take place in the Grand Opera House throughout India Week and will tell the story of the Lagan Engineering Company, launched by Mackie’s in 1955 on the Hooghly River near Kolkata (Calcutta) and today a global supplier of jute products owned by India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries.
Other key events taking place during India Week are the ‘Storytrekkers Global Discovery: India’ Drama at the Lyric Theatre; the ‘India/ Ireland: Discovering Treasures’ Tour at the Linen Hall Library; The Sari Project exhibition at the Ulster Hall with a chance to view the unique fabric work of local artist Karishma Kusurkar as well as Indian animal quizzes for the family at Belfast Zoo. An introductory class on Hatha Yoga will be held in the Banqueting Hall of the City Hall over lunchtime on Wednesday 26 June.
Indian arts workshops will be taking place at various venues across the city including the Crescent Arts Centre, Lyric Theatre and Victoria Square. Indian dance workshops ranging from contemporary classical Indian dance to Bollywood for kids will be held in the Crescents Arts Centre and in An Culturlann in west Belfast. An Culturlann will also host a session mix of Indian and Irish Music on Saturday 29 June.
Indian and Asian food and cooking will also be celebrated during India Week with restaurants across the city taking part in ‘A Taste of India’. There will be free Indian cookery classes taking place in Belfast Met, Titanic Campus as well an Indian cookery demonstration at St George’s Market.
The Global India Business Meeting, organised by Belfast City Council and supported by Invest NI and conference partner Horasis, will also be held in the city during 23-25 June. Around 300 business from India and Asia have been invited to this prestigious conference as well as local businesses. Among the high profile speakers expected to attend the conference are Anand Sharma, the Minister of Commerce and Industry for the Government of India and Vince Cable, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. The conference will take place in various venues across the city including the City Hall, the Europa Hotel, Titanic Belfast and Queens University.
Newly elected Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, said : “As one of my first engagements, I’m delighted to launch India Week today. Belfast is a dynamic modern city with an ever expanding global outlook and is increasingly acknowledged as a leading investment destination. We are putting the city in the global map once again by showcasing it to our international delegates visiting the city from India and Asia. We are also opening the city to everyone that week with a great line-up of events celebrating our rich links to Indian culture, education and business. ”
For more information on India Week, you can visit the council website at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/indiaweek or contact Belfast City Council on 028 9027 0666.