Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kolkata, Paris bonding

With Stephane Amalir and Fabrice Etienne at the MoU signing
April 24, 2013: The cultural bonds between Kolkata and Paris got a boost yesterday evening when I, as the Managing Trustee of Prabha Khaitan Foundation (PKF), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with The Alliance Francaise du Bengale (AFdB) at a function in Taj Bengal.
Stephane Amalir, Director of Alliance Francaise du Bengale and Fabrice Etienne, the Consul General of Consulate de France were present. 
The MoU is for collaborating on events and to work together for various broad cultural exchange programs between India and France and specific events, involving Kolkata and Paris, to develop and exchange ideas in art, films, theatre, literature and other areas.
There is a popular feeling that Kolkata, the mecca of Indian culture, and Paris, are very much alike when it comes to things cultural.
PKF has been organizing various social and literary events and activities for years and had recently worked closely with The Alliance Francaises immensely successful Bon Jour India festival. This tie up would further consolidate PKF's relationship with AFdB and we hope to achieve new milestones in organizing cultural events and functions in the days to come.
A select group of invitees, representative of cultural organizations such as The Director of ICCR, Rajashree Behera, The Director of the American Centre, Jeffrey K Reneau, Director of British Council, Sujata Sen, and diplomats from the Consulate de France in Kolkata, were present on the occasion.
With Rajashree Behera and Gita Basu of ICCR
The basic idea is to develop projects with France in various fields of performing arts and literature so that artistes and performers from both the countries can benefit and express their creativity. I have plan to forge similar tie-ups between PKF and cultural institutions of other countries as well.
I have often found myself in situations when I got invites from different consulates for great events that clashed over timings and has put me in a real dilemma – being close to all of them – it becomes very difficult to exercise a choice of being in one of the events. 
With Usha Uthup
So to ensure this is taken care of I had been thinking of working out a calendar of events and activities in Kolkata in consultation with the Consulates so that no events clash.
The MoU signing was preceded by cocktails. We were lucky to have the gracious company of singer Usha Uthup who was at the function and sang two songs - C'est si bon (It is good) and Autumn Leaves.
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