In Brazil, there is enormous interest in India’s culture, religion, performing arts and philosophy. The first forms of Indian Culture to reach Brazil were related to spirituality, philosophy and religion. Folkloric identities and celebrations from India could relate very much to the jolly and colorful nature of the festivities such as the typical dances and parades of north and northeast of Brazil. The first classical Indian art form to come to Brazil was Bharatanatyam; Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi followed. There are numerous organizations teaching Yoga all over Brazil. Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, Satya Sai Baba, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bhakti Vedanta Foundation and other spiritual gurus and organizations have chapters in Brazil.
Brazil has a strong community of Yoga and Ayurveda practitioners. The Brazilian Association of Ayurveda (ABRA) is a non-profit association with offices in 9 states of Brazil and has members all over Brazil. An International Congress on Ayurveda was organized in the State of Goias in Brazil from 12-14 November 2013. The event was co-sponsored by Department of AYUSH, Ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India and State government of Goias. The third International Congress on Ayurveda was held from 12 to 15 March, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro. The conference saw participation of more than 4000 delegates, including many from India.
The International Day of Yoga, 2015 was celebrated in 12 major cities of Brazil. On June 21, 2015, President Dilma Rousseff congratulated Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on twitter and the PM thanked the Brazilian President for her greetings. Brazil Post issued a stamp on this occasion.
The Embassy has been conducting Yoga classes at its chancery complex thrice a week since January, 2016 which has been increased to four times per week since September 2017 due to their popularity among the Brazilians. These classes have attracted Yoga practitioners from all walks of life including the diplomatic community in Brasilia. The average number of Yoga practitioners per class varies between 60-80. ‘Chá com Letras’, a regular event focusing on readings of Brazilian poetry inviting Brazilian poets to the Embassy, has received great appreciation in the literary circles of Brasilia. Regular shows of Indian cinema organized by the Embassy have been received well in Brazil.
The 2nd International Day of Yoga 2016 was celebrated in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with active participation of Art of Living members, diplomatic community, yoga schools and followers of yoga and meditation from all walks of life.
The 3rd International Day of Yoga (IDY 2017) was celebrated in Brasilia, Sao Palo, Rio de Janeiro and other major cities of Brazil with participation from all walks of life, diplomats, government officials, Yoga teachers and practitioners, among others. The Embassy also organized a talk on Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (The World is a Family) on this occasion. Mr. Marcos Resende, President of the Theosophical Society of Brazil and Mr. U.S. Pandey, an inspirational speaker from India addressed the gathering. Earlier, a delegation of Ministry of Ayush and the Embassy participated at the 11th Brazilian Holistic Meeting in Porto Alegre, capital of Mato Grosso state in March 2017. The Embassy also organized screening of films on Yoga as well as talks on Yoga by Mr. Benoy Behl in Brasilia and Sao Paulo in May 2017, with support from Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Lectures on Yoga were also organized by the Embassy on April 6 and May 10 in coordination with Art of Living.
Mahatma Gandhi is highly regarded in Brazil and the government and NGOs are trying to inculcate the philosophy of non-violence among students, youth and police. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi have been installed in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Londrina. An organization called Filhos de Gandhi (Sons of Gandhi) is very popular in Salvador, Brazil and takes out street processions wearing Gandhian attire every year.
India cinema is also popular among the Brazilian people. Indian Film weeks organized by the Embassy and Consulate have received a good response. Brazilian Post issued a commemorative stamp in May 2014 on “100 years of Indian Cinema” and marked International Day of Yoga on 21 June 2015 with the issue of another commemorative stamp. Caminhos das India (paths of India), a TV serial inspired from Indian society, is extremely popular in Brazil and was re-telecast on the popular Brazilian TV channel Globo. A month long festival of Indian cinema is being organized in Rio de Janeiro from 23 April 2018.
The fourth edition of “Food Week of India” was organized from January 27-31, 2015 in Brasilia, showcasing diversified cuisines of India. The Festival was well received by the local Brazilian people and international community.
An 8-member troupe led by Padma Bhushan Dr. L. Subramaniam gave spellbinding performances at prestigious venues in Brasilia and Sao Paulo on December 3-4, 2016.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living Foundation, visited various cities of Brazil from December 14-17, 2016, during which he held discussions with local authorities, conducted meditation sessions and gave discourses. He met President Temer on 14 December in Brasilia.
Under Ministry of External Affairs’ initiative to promote Indian states, a cultural troupe from Rajasthan, comprising of a Kalbelia dance group, five artisans and a master chef, visited Brazil from April 7-12, 2017. While dance group’s performances and the products of the five artisans were highly appreciated, the master chef offered select Rajasthani cuisine to specially invited guests. Local media gave wide publicity to various aspects of Rajasthan state.
A ten-day long Festival of India was organized in Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Embassy of India in Brazil from August 31 to September 9, 2017, to celebrate the completion of 70 years of India’s independence. The Festival featured an exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, enthralling performances of Carnatic music by renowned Indian musicians, scintillating performances of Kathak and celebration of Indian literature, with renowned Indian poets sharing gems of Indian literature with Brazilian audience. All these events were attended by Brazilian government officials, Ambassadors, media personnel, culture lovers and friends of India.
On 30 November, 2017, the Embassy organized a cultural evening showcasing elements of cuisine, culture, architecture and tourism of the Indian state of Goa. On 18 December, 2017, in continuation of its efforts at promoting the diverse cultures of Indian states in Brazil, the Embassy organized a cultural evening showcasing elements of cuisine, culture, architecture and tourism of the Indian states of Punjab and Bihar. To further these efforts and to mark the 70 years of India-Brazil diplomatic relations, the Embassy organized a cultural evening on 5 February 2018, celebrating the Indian state of Karnataka. The event was marked by the launch of the book “Uma Arvore em Flor”, Portuguese version of the book “A Flowering Tree and Other Oral Tales from India” written by celebrated Indian author A.K. Ramanujan. The book is a collection of 77 famous folktales from Karnataka. On 6 February 2018, the Embassy organized an evening of Carnatic music presented by renowned violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam and celebrated singer Mrs. Kavita Krishnamurti.
About 55 Brazilians have gone to India under ITEC programme for training in communications, management, defence etc. in the last seven years. ITEC courses continue to gain popularity amongst Brazilians, and a number of students have enrolled for the current session.
Indian Community in Brazil:
The Indian community of PIOs/NRIs in Brazil is small, numbering around 4700 people, with a majority of them living in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. The community mainly comprises professionals, businessmen and some scientists/researchers in space, agriculture, physics and biotechnology. There is an Indian Association in Sao Paulo.
Embassy of India, Brasilia
Website: http://indianembassy.org.br/ Embassy of India, Brasilia
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