The U.S. Embassy India is celebrating September as the month of U.S.-India friendship, and the diplomats are busy showcasing their respect by reciting Indian poems and taking road trips. The last two weeks have been busy for U.S. diplomats in India as they were learning Indian languages such as Hindi and Urdu to recite the poems of Ghalib and Dagh.

“When MasterChef kicked off here in India, there were some ­racial issues with people getting beaten up, taxi drivers and all the rest of it,” Mehigan said while signing plates. [...] when MasterChef started, it all turned around. It’s what embassy people call “soft diplomacy”...

Finland's foreign ministry has launched a set of official emojis, and a once-ubiquitous Nokia handset is among them. More than 30 icons will be available for people to download, representing "important things associated with Finland", the ministry says. 

US secretary of state John Kerry invoked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election tag line 'Sabka saath sabka vikas' at a Washington think-tank meeting before his India visit last week. While this may have been good diplomacy, investors and brand marketers are also trying to convey a greater cultural affinity.