Peek into other worlds
Spending the summer in Delhi? Experience the sights and sounds of other countries right here in the capital. Stop by the two recently opened international cultural centres and revisit the older ones - from Ethiopia's fermented bread speciality to Persian poetry sessions - here's a rich trove of traditions waiting to be explored. Furquan Siddiqui and Neyaz Farooquee write.delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2013 00:35 IST
Spending the summer in Delhi? Experience the sights and sounds of other countries right here in the capital. Stop by the two recently opened international cultural centres and revisit the older ones - from Ethiopia's fermented bread speciality to Persian poetry sessions - here's a rich trove of traditions waiting to be explored.
Korean Cultural Centre
Explore: South Asia's first Korean cultural centre was opened in Delhi in December last year. The three floored building houses various halls dedicated to specific activities. The Nam-jun Baek Hall is for artists to exhibit their works. The Café Korea provides visitors with an opportunity to try out Korean cuisine, especially designed to introduce Korean snacks to the Indian palette. A Dangun showcases Korean films and Mugunghwa hall is for Taekwondo classes.
Where: A-25, Lajpat Nagar IV. Call: 43345000
Membership: Open to all. Optional membership for library and other classes
Iran Culture Centre
Explore: Fan of Iranian cinema? You might enjoy one of the special film festivals the centre organises. One of the oldest international cultural centres in the city, it traces the Indo-Iranian history which is more than a thousand years old. The centre also organises regular programs like poetry sessions and food festivals besides Persian classes. It has a well-stocked library of Indo-Persian books and it also preserves rare manuscripts. In its series of film festivals, the centre will organise one in November this year in Delhi.
Where: 18, Tilak Marg, near Supreme Court. Call: 23383232
Membership: Open to all
Ethiopian Cultural Centre
Explore: Latest to join the list of international cultural centres, Ethiopian Cultural Centre opened in March this year. It is also the first African cultural centre to set foot in the capital. Unlike the other centres, the centre's external facade with bamboo lined walls and colourful interiors have an ethnic touch to it. The centre right now boasts of an Ethiopian restaurant, Blue Nile, a coffee room and a museum. A mutton dish, Begg Wat with Injera (fermented bread) and later Ethiopian coffee is a must-try here.
Where: 7/50 G, Niti Marg, Chanakya Puri. Call: 24673654
Membership: Rs 2500 per person, guests are allowed with members
The Japan Foundation
Explore: Last year in the Delhi Book Fair the Foundation had put up a cafe to introduce Indian readers to the famous comic art, Manga. The cafe was shifted to Hauz Khas and later found a permanent place at the Foundation's library which itself has grown to more than 1000 books. The cafe strewn with colourful bean bags attracts Manga lovers from all age groups and offers a range of titles - from Doraemon to Naruto, Case Closed to One piece. Regular workshops of animation and Origami, famous Japanese arts, find many takers at the centre.
Where: 5A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar IV. Call: 26442971
Membership: Open to all. Optional membership for film club and library
Portuguese Embassy Cultural Centre
Explore: Cheer your favourite football team playing in leagues like Europa, or learn the nuances of the Portuguese language - the native language which is also spoken in other countries like Brazil. You can pick up a certificate course,
MA or even MPhil and take part in the Portuguese language essay competitions. Then there are Portuguese Film festivals organised by the centre in collaboration with other culture centres. The centre, celebrating its 20th anniversary, has a library of 6,000 books in Portuguese and other languages on diverse subjects.
Where: 4, Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri. Call: 46025135
Membership: Open to all, carry an identity card for entry
Other popular centres
* American Center offers a wide range of activities like exhibitions, book launches and discussions, apart from housing a library with information on the US, its culture and policies.
* Alliance Française de Delhi, one of the most vibrant centres in the city. The ML Bhartia auditorium and Gallerie Romain Rolland are the city's sought after destinations for theatre, art & concert lovers.
* The German cultural centre Goethe-Institute is housed in what is known as Max Mueller Bhavan. It promotes a wide range of cultural events presenting the German culture and its contemporary aspects to Indians.
* British Council apart from being a forerunner in education, also organises various workshops targeted at kids. It also showcases films, concerts etc
* Instituto Cervantes, the cultural hub gives a glimpse into diverse Spanish culture, extending upto Latin America.