The Republic of India, one of the world’s largest and most-celebrated democracies, has much in common with the United States. Both nations play an instrumental role in geopolitics and the advancement of the global economy. The United States and India are also extremely diverse, with citizens from an assortment of ethnic and cultural backgrounds who are free and proud to celebrate their heritage and practice their sundry of faiths. As policymakers and business leaders in both countries grow more interested in deeper, more substantive bilateral relations, now is an opportune time for Americans to discover and explore India’s rich history, societies, traditions, and art forms. Seizing this auspicious opportunity, Meridian will bring together government and cultural leaders as well as economic experts to engage in constructive dialogue and celebrate the profound impact that Indian language, religion, dance, music, architecture, and cuisine has had on the United States and the world.
A mural by U.S. artist Joel Bergner and local artists in Siliguri (Courtesy of Joel Bergner)
Guru Gopinath with Esther Sherman, known as Ragini Devi in Kindred Nations exhibition (Courtesy of the Collection of Sukanya Rahman/Ram Rahman); Youths perform their daily morning puja in front of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
2014 in Keeping Faith exhibition (Courtesy of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha)
On June 8, 2017, Meridian’s Cultural Diplomacy Forum on India will explore Indian cultures and how they can pave the way for increased engagement and economic opportunities between the United States and India. Held on Meridian’s historic Washington, DC, campus, the day will feature panel discussions, in-depth conversations, high-level networking, and artistic performances.
The program will include:
Keynote remarks by H.E. Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India to the United States, as well as a keynote address by Shri. Shashi Tharoor, former foreign minister and undersecretary to the United Nations. Remarks will also be made by revered diplomat and former U.S. Ambassador to India Frank Wisner. Other invited speakers include: Mark Warner (D-VA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), and former U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma.
An intimate VIP salon lunch for influential leaders from the congressional, diplomatic, U.S. government, think tank, and corporate communities will allow for intimate conversations about business and policy priorities. Drawing on Meridian’s unique constituencies, the lunch will offer both U.S. and international perspectives on these issues.
A series of panel discussions analyzing opportunities for collaboration through policies and initiatives that encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and trade; showcasing the use of cultural and educational exchanges to bolster bilateral relations and forge closer ties; and emphasizing the power of cultural heritage and the arts to highlight shared values and interests in multicultural societies
An elegant evening reception celebrating India’s myriad cultures – with an emphasis on art, dance, music, and cuisine – attended by a cross-section of DC’s government, business, and philanthropic leaders.