Though globalisation and the internet have blurred demarcations of geography, the traditional role of envoys as facilitators of cultural exchange remains unchanged.
It is with this intent that the Department of Culture of the Austrian Embassy in New Delhi has organised an inter-disciplinary jazz concert by Austrian band Nim Sofyan this Friday on the occasion of World Music Day.
An exceptional band specialising in multi-cultural music, Nim Sofyan’s oeuvre resides between the electrifying music of the Balkans and Asia Minor, with a hint of funk and jazz. The sextet manages to combine lyrical elegance with various instruments like the guitar, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet and percussion.
Revealing his views on cross-cultural interactions, the Ambassador of Austria, Ferdinand Maultaschl, said: “The essence of humanity is provided by culture and science and it is the duty of the diplomats to bring their own culture to foreign shores.” The Ambassador also revealed that the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Austria would be celebrated next year in a grand manner. For that occasion, the embassy has plans to conduct a cultural extravaganza comprising chamber orchestras, solo shows and other cultural activities. “We also have plans for organising an exhibition on Indian and Austrian modern art at Vienna and New Delhi. We will ensure participation of people from all walks of life at our events. Culture should act as a unifier of people, not the reason for dividing them,” he added.
In India for less than a year, the Ambassador said most people in his country still associate India with the sari, classical dancing and the trademark “dot” (the ‘bindi’).
“Delhi is a wonderful place, but a city is not confined merely to the diplomatic enclave. There are other vibrant parts too, and I have found it to be a very lively place. I am proud that Austrian agencies are also working for the betterment of Delhi by way of their collaboration in the Delhi metro rail project,” he added.