The Queen marked the official start of the UK-India Year of Culture with a reception at Buckingham Palace on 27th February 2017. The Palace was lit up with a peacock and dancing figures to highlight the celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and India which will see cultural events, exhibitions and activities taking place in both countries throughout 2017. In attendance were India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, High Commissioner of India, HE Mr Y K Sinha; the Deputy High Commissioner of India HE Mr Dinesh Patnaik; Foreign Secretary The Right Hon Boris Johnson MP; The Right Hon. Priti Patel MP, Secretary of State for International Development; The Right Hon Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries; Tristram Hunt MP; Peers and business, arts and community leaders from both India and the UK.
A joint initiative by The British Council, the Indian High Commission and the UK government, the UK India Year of Culture will give audiences a chance to experience innovative and exciting creative work from some of the best UK and Indian companies, artists and institutions. The UK India Year of Culture follows the joint announcement in 2015 by Prime Minister Modi and then-Prime Minister David Cameron of a bilateral initiative to mark cultural ties between the UK and India; as well as Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India in November 2016, which further strengthened the relationship between the two countries.
The Year of Culture will include programmes celebrating India’s heritage and contemporary culture as part of the dynamic India@UK2017 festival. The India@UK2017 programme will blend artistic traditions from the UK with a wide spectrum of Indian cultural and literary traditions across multiple venues in the UK.