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New Danish Cultural Institute opened in New Delhi

The symbolic part of the opening ceremony. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen cuts the ribbon, assisted by Flemming Besenbacher. Photo: Thomas Sehested

Together with Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation Flemming Besenbacher participated in the opening ceremony of the new Danish cultural institute in New Delhi this past weekend. The Carlsberg Foundation has donated DKK 4 million to the institute.

Several prominent guests were present during the inauguration of the Danish Cultural Institute in New Delhi this Saturday. Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen cut the ribbon and declared the institute open. Also, the chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation Flemming Besenbacher participated in the celebration.

Rapper Alowala a.k.a. Shivani Ahlowalia lives in Denmark, but the vast majority of her followers are in India. At the opening ceremony she gave a taste as to why. Photo: Thomas Sehested

“We are happy to contribute to the Danish Cultural Institute in India, which will work to facilitate Danish-Indian cooperation within art, science, and culture. While Denmark is a small nation, India is a very large nation, but despite these differences, we are faced with many of the same challenges. How do we solve the problems of too much, or not enough water? How do we handle inequality in a way, where all parts of society take part in the growing wealth? How can we increase the shift towards a circular economy to make the world more sustainable for future generations? To all these, and many more challenges, India has a huge potential as a supplier of solutions – not least due to its large size, and its long tradition within education and science,” said Flemming Besenbacher in his speech at the opening ceremony this Saturday.


The guests were able to taste a wide variety of Indian specialties. Photo: Thomas Sehested

For the opening event, the Danish Cultural Institute had invited Danish artists engaged in Indian culture and society. Among others, author Leonora Christina Skov, rapper Alowala a.k.a. Shivani Ahlowalia, and visual artist Malene Bach, were present at the celebration.

A platform for collaboration on art, culture, and science

The Cultural Institute is based in the southern part of New Delhi and will from here act in other parts of India, where strong local centers for culture and knowledge exists. 

”India’s role in the world, and in the development of solutions for global challenges, is increasing. Even though India and Denmark are different in both size, geography, natural resources and historical experience, we have a strong set of shared values. We believe in democracy as a bedrock for society, equal rights are an integrated part of our agenda’s, and we have a thoroughly social outlook governing our actions; we are concerned about the many, not just the chosen few. This means that we have a unique platform for addressing some of the challenges, that we share. There is a good potential for cooperation on both culture and research, and we will work to further this potential in regards to areas such as resources, society and nature, including water,”  says Thomas Sehested, Director of the Danish Cultural Institute in India.

Agreement signed in 2018

Since 2012, Danish Cultural Institute has had a dream of having a presence in India, which plays an increasing larger role globally. India is going through some of the biggest changes concerning urbanization, technology and resources, but also culturally and in respect to lifestyles, all of which will influence the future. 

The agreement to start a new Danish Cultural Institute in India was made in April 2018, following a dialogue between Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Nordic-Indian Summit in Stockholm. 

The Danish Cultural Institute in India will be the second of its kind in Asia, since the opening of the Cultural Institute in Beijing, China, in 2005.

Read more about the Carlsberg Foundation’s support of the Danish Cultural Institute 
Read more about the Danish Cultural Institute 

In his speech, the chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation mentioned, i.a., that both Denmark and India have world-leading researchers who can benefit greatly from strengthened collaboration between the two countries. Photo: Peter Thostrup

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Sólrun Løkke Rasmussen, chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation, Flemming Besenbacher and Mrs. Riva Ganguly Das from Ministry of Culture in India just before the opening ceremony in the atrium of the institute. Photo: Thomas Sehested

The Carlsberg Foundation has donated DKK 4 million to the Danish Cultural Institute in India. Photo: Peter Thostrup

Leonora Christina Skov has had multiple writing retreats in Southern India. During the opening ceremony she explained how India has inspired her artistically. Photo: Thomas Sehested

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation, Flemming Besenbacher, CEO at Danish Cultural Institute Camilla Mordhorst and Thomas Sehested, Director of Danish Cultural Institute in India states. Photo: Thomas Sehested



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