culture diplomacy

Dangal’s success story in China — coming as it does, five months after its theatrical release in India and elsewhere — has triggered a stream of breathless box office updates, analytical thinkpieces, and odes aplenty. As it should. [...] Egyptian hawkers referring to Indian women visitors as “Kareena! Aishwarya!” isn't surprising. But to have a teenager from the tiny island country of Timor Leste tell you that Preity Zinta’s Kya Kehna is his favourite film, or have folks in Vietnam express sadness about Balika Vadhu actress Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide — that is surreal. 

Protecting cultural diversity is vital for peacebuilding in the Middle East, the head of the UNESCO Irina Bokova said at Madrid Conference today. [...] “Violent extremists target both heritage and human lives – they target victims and minorities from all backgrounds, Shebak, Turkmen, Yezidis, Muslims, Christians..." [...] “Violent extremists target schools, because they know the power of knowledge to counter their rhetoric drawing on false visions of faith and history," Irina added. 

This week’s PD News focused on President Trump’s trip overseas, from the importance of Saudi Arabia to Melania Trump’s international debut as First Lady. 

Nowadays, one of the most historically charged rivalries on the international stage is that between Pakistan and India, and nowhere is it bigger than in the sport the countries are best at: cricket. India and Pakistan have been playing cricket against each other since 1952, and the game has become a metaphor of sorts for the countries’ relationship. In fact, the politics between the two nations and the games on the field are so intertwined that a phrase was coined: Cricket Diplomacy. 

Brazilian Embassy cultural attache Raphael Tosti de Almeida Vieira has an ace up his sleeve. (...)His ace is Brazilian music. “It’s the Brazilian soft power,” Tosti says of his country’s rich musical heritage that includes internationally beloved genres such as samba and bossa nova.