India and the Netherlands
India and the Netherlands enjoy extensive relations, as highlighted during the state visit of HRH King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima to India in 2019. Historic relations date back to over 400 years ago. The Netherlands has a strong academic tradition in studying Indian culture, language and civilisation, and economic and personal ties are intensive.

India is rapidly emerging as a global power, and is – at least until the COVID crisis erupted – one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a population close to China’s and a rapidly growing and well-educated middle class. The Netherlands is home to a large community of Indian ancestry, the largest Indian diaspora in the EU.

Both India and the Netherlands boast a rich cultural life, and the cultural sectors of both countries could gain enormously from cultural partnerships. However, despite the potential and cooperation in cultural heritage, cultural exchanges have been limited. This is partly attributable to mutual unfamiliarity.

India as a new focal country
With India as one of the 23 focal countries in Dutch international cultural policy (2021-2024), it is the government’s ambition to promote more partnerships and exchanges in contemporary culture in various fields in the coming years, while continuing to build on the existing cooperation in the field of cultural heritage. The Dutch embassy in New Delhi in particular will play a supporting role in building up the network in India, matchmaking and identifying potential local partners.

Opportunities exist notably in the following sectors and/or fields: design (including fashion and textile design, handicraft and furniture design, urban planning and landscape design); performing arts; and heritage cooperation (including museum cooperation and intangible cultural heritage), as well as cinematography and literature. Read more…

Information & advice
Would you like to receive more information regarding opportunities for cultural exchange with India? Feel free to contact our Focal Countries Desk with your questions.

Artists and organizations looking for Indian partners to collaborate with can fill in the Cultural Connect Partnership Request Form and send it to the cultural department of the Dutch embassy for advice on potential partners in India. Cultural activities jointly undertaken by Dutch and Indian partners which meet the criteria may be eligible for support.

Further reading


Josine Backus
Advisor - Focal Countries | Brazil
j.backus [at]

Minke van Schaik, DutchCulture
Minke van Schaik
Advisor - Focal Countries
m.vanschaik [at]

India at a glance

50 registered activities in 2022
featuring 22 artists

Number of activities
12 months (2022)

Activities by
discipline in 2022


Frequently asked questions

Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, there are various funding opportunities available for artists, cultural practitioners and organisations with international ambitions. You can find a first overview on our Funding Support page. For a more extensive overview, see our Cultural Mobility Funding Guide.  


International Heritage Cooperation is part of the Netherlands’ international cultural policy. The embassies of the Netherlands in the partner countries have a budget for supporting local cultural heritage projects. DutchCulture manages a Matching Fund. Dutch legal entities (companies and registered freelancers) are able to apply for partial funding for an international heritage cooperation project.

Where can I find funding within India?

Information about the funding available from the Ministry of Culture of India can be found here.

Since 2012, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and On the Move (OTM) have jointly presented the Mobility Funding Guides for International Cultural Exchange for the 51 countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which includes India. These guides provide a comprehensive and updated list of funding opportunities for the cultural mobility of artists and cultural practitioners in Asia and Europe, where cultural mobility is defined as “the temporary cross-border movement of artists and other cultural professionals.”

You can find the Mobility Funding Guide for India here.

What rules and regulations do I have to consider (visa, social security, taxation)?

Information about visa is available through the Embassy of India in The Hague.

How can I promote my work in India?  

It is a good idea to engage local publicists, that have an understanding of your art discipline, audience and region. The cultural department of the Dutch Embassy in New Delhi can help you find network or decide to promote your work through their channels.

Make sure to contact the embassy to let them know about your projects. Do not forget to create a My DC account, where you can add your activities to our Cultural Database. This way you will be included in our database and become part of our network.

How can I find a residency, a venue at which to perform or an exhibition space?

Through the DutchCulture database, you can find out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research there. Go to the search icon on the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country, and city.

For residencies, DutchCulture's TransArtists is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it is always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, which can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this.

How can I keep up to date with any news concerning cultural work in India?

The Embassy of the Netherlands in India is active on different social media platforms. Follow them on one or more platforms and stay up-to-date about the latest news, new opportunities, and events.

Are there specific things to keep in mind when it comes to safety in India?

For the most recent travel advice to India, please see the website of the Dutch government (in Dutch).