There is enormous interest amongst Brazilian people in India’s culture, religion, performing arts and philosophy. The first forms of Indian Culture to reach Brazil were all somehow related to spirituality, philosophy and religion. Folkloric identities and celebrations from India could relate very much to the jolly and colorful nature of the festivities such as the typical dances and parades of north and northeast of Brazil. The first classical art to come to Brazil was Bharatanatyam dance, with Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi to follow later. Not only for their distinct character but also due to the exoticism of costumes, ankle bells and, head dresses, impacting make-up and angular postures are immensely appealing to Brazilian eyes. In classical music, Brazil has already a share of those who have learnt Sitar, Tabla and other instruments and not only play some of the original ragas and rhythms but go beyond to create fusion music in conjunction with Brazilian artistes. There are numerous organizations teaching Yoga, all over Brazil. Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, Satya Sai Baba, Maharishi Maharshi Yogi, Bhakti Vedanta Foundation and other spiritual gurus and organizations have chapters in Brazil. Ayurveda is also very popular in Brazil and regular conferences and events are organized by the Embassy and the Consulate as well as the Indian Cultural Centre.
Mahatma Gandhi is highly regarded in Brazil and the government and NGOs are trying to circulate the philosophy of non-violence among students, youth and even police. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi have been installed in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Londrina.
In recent years the cultural exchanges have taken place at increased frequency supported by two governments. The Brazilian cultural troupe had given splendid performances in India in 2008 and a large group of Indian artists gave several popular performances in Brazilian cities in May-June 2011. Flute Maestro Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia gave three performances in July 2012 in Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo. India Brazil Chamber of Belo Horizonte organized a Indian Festival week in cooperation with Indian Embassy in Brasilia during March 2014.
The Indian Cultural Centre in Sao Paulo has regular programmes around Indian and Brazilian festivals as well as regular classes in Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi and Yoga. Monthly classes on Indian cuisine held in the ICC are also very popular. Upcoming activities of the ICC Sao Paulo can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/IndianCulturalCentreSaoPauloBrazil?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser and record of events can be seen at http://cgisaopaulo.in/cgi.php?m=1&id=Monthly
India cinema is also popular among Brazilian people. Indian Film weeks organized by Embassy and Consulate have always received good responses. We have organized Indian film weeks August-September 2013 celebrating “Hundred years of Indian Cinema” in seven Brazilian cities. Brazilian Post Department had issued a commemorative stamp in May 2014 on “100 years of Indian Cinema”.