Culture and cinema create links between India and the U.S.

On November 6th, 2019, Meridian was honored to host a cultural event together with the Ambassador of India to the United States, His Excellency Harsh Vardhan Singha, on Bollywood and Bombay.

The evening began with opening remarks from H.E. Harsh Vardhan Singha emphasizing the importance of culture, fashion and style in diplomacy, and as areas for people to connect and form relationships. Following the Ambassador, Adrian Mutton, CEO of Sannam S4 provided welcomed remarks.

Professor Hemal Shringla, wife of H.E. Singa and a professor of Indian Multiculturalism, World Cinema and the History of Cinema, gave a multimedia presentation on the intertwined histories of Indian cinema and the city of its birth.

In her presentation, Professor Shringla explained that since the first films arrived in Bombay in 1876, just a year after the Lumiere brothers presented them in Paris, the film in Bombay has flourished thanks to an eager audience that has always loved to be entertained. Professor Shringla used clips from movies and musical performances to guide the audience through the development and transformation of cinema and music in Bollywood and Bombay, pointing out the influences of jazz, latin music and rock & roll.

She concluded that film is an art form that has incorporated countless influences and become something new and better each time, all while still keeping its original Indian melodies. “Together, parts make something greater, the whole is better than the sum of its parts."

After the presentation, participants were invited to try some authentic Indian food, chicken tikka and samosas at the reception.

Project summary

Culture and cinema create links between India and the U.S. | November 2019
Regions: South and Central Asia, Western Hemisphere
Countries: India, United States
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy
Program Areas: Culture
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector