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

23 registered activities in 2021
featuring 14 artists

Number of activities
12 months (2021)

Activities by
discipline in 2021


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?

More info will follow soon

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

More info will follow soon

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.

Lastly, don't 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?

Browse through the DutchCulture Database and figure out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research this way. Go to the search icon on the upperleft corner of the website, and search by discipline, country or city.

For residencies, the organisation Transartists, which is also part of DutchCulture, is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, ranging from a couple of weeks until several months, can help you to achieve that.  

What to take into account if I want to invite an Indian artist or cultural worker to the Netherlands?

More info will follow soon

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).