Belfast Hosts India Week 2013

Exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and more set to take place in venues across the city from June 22 – 29

The exotic sights, sounds and aromas of India will be celebrated in Belfast from June 22 – 29, when venues across the city will play host to a wide range of cultural, business and educational events to mark India Week.

Among the highlights will be an Indian Bazaar in the City Hall on Saturday, June 22 with free workshops on Indian dance, flower arranging, henna tattoo decorating and Indian massage.

The Big Screen at the City Hall will be showing the film Taare Zameen Par (Like Stars on Earth) on Tuesday, June 25, with special screenings also taking place in Queen's Film Theatre of films by acclaimed director Satyajit Ray, Pather Panchali and The Chess Players.

With India famous for its cricket, a special match has been organised at Woodvale Cricket Club on Wednesday, June 26 with local schools from Belfast also receiving free cricket coaching lessons that morning.

A free exhibition charting the history of Belfast's engineering family, James Mackie & Sons, and their rich industrial heritage links with India is also not to be missed during India Week.

The Men of Steel exhibition will take place in the Grand Opera House throughout India Week, and will tell the story of the Lagan Engineering Company, launched by Mackie's in 1955 on the Hooghly River near Kolkata (Calcutta) and today a global supplier of jute products owned by India's Ministry of Heavy Industries.

Other key events taking place during India Week are the Storytrekkers Global Discovery: India drama at the Lyric Theatre, the India/Ireland: Discovering Treasures tour at the Linen Hall Library, the Sari Project exhibition at the Ulster Hall, with a chance to view the unique fabric work of local artist Karishma Kusurka,r as well as Indian animal quizzes for the family at Belfast Zoo. An introductory class on Hatha Yoga will also be held in the Banqueting Hall of the City Hall over lunchtime on Wednesday, June 26.

Indian arts workshops will be taking place at various venues across the city, including the Crescent Arts Centre, Lyric Theatre and Victoria Square. Indian dance workshops ranging from contemporary classical Indian dance to Bollywood for kids will be held in the Crescents Arts Centre and in An Culturlann in west Belfast. An Culturlann will also host a session mix of Indian and Irish music on Saturday, June 29.

Indian and Asian food and cooking will also be celebrated during India Week with restaurants across the city taking part in A Taste of India. There will be free Indian cookery classes taking place in Belfast Met, Titanic Campus as well an Indian cookery demonstration at St George's Market.

The Global India Business Meeting, organised by Belfast City Council and supported by Invest NI and conference partner Horasis, will also be held in the city during June 23 – 25. Around 300 businesses from India and Asia have been invited to this prestigious conference as well as local businesses.

Among the high profile speakers expected to attend the conference are Anand Sharma, the Minister of Commerce and Industry for the Government of India, and Vince Cable, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. The conference will take place in various venues across the city including the City Hall, the Europa Hotel, Titanic Belfast and Queen's University.

Newly elected Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, said: 'Belfast is a dynamic modern city with an ever-expanding global outlook and is increasingly acknowledged as a leading investment destination.

'We are putting the city in the global map once again by showcasing it to our international delegates visiting the city from India and Asia. We are also opening the city to everyone that week with a great line-up of events celebrating our rich links to Indian culture, education and business.'

For more information on India Week, visit the Belfast City Council website.