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.
An eight member Rajasthani folkloric dance group led by Ms. Nirmala Kumari and a 4-member classical instrumental group led by Shri Rashid Mustafa, sponsored by ICCR performed on 23 and 24 January in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte respectively, Violin Maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam performed on 4th December 2016 at the Arthur Rubinstein theatre;
Major events in 2017 in Sao Paulo included celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas on 09 January at the ICC with the participation and speeches by several prominent Indians; a presentation by Mr. Mandip Singh Soin at the ICC on Adventure Tourism in India - “India at Heart” on 20 February; visit of a 12-member Rajasthani group comprising dancers, and master craftsmen and a Chef from 7-10 April for tourism promotion purposes. Performances and handicraft workshop was organized at the Immigrants Musuem followed by an Evening of Indian Cuisine at Tulsi Indian Restaurant; visit of noted art historian Mr. Benoy Behl from 17-23 May with presentations and film screening on “Yoga – The Grace Within”, a digital exhibition on “Buddhist Heritage”, presentation on “Yoga : India’s Gift to the World”, Presentation on Churches of Velha Goa, presentation on “Ramayana – the Greatest Epic” besides yoga sessions; celebration of the IDY 2017 on 21 June in the ICC with several other events in the run up to IDY 2017. To mark the occasion, a yoga class was also conducted at the Women’s Prison of the State of Sao Paulo State on 23 Maywith the support of the state government, the celebrations concluded with a major Yoga event at the prominent Iberapeura Park organized by the Art of Living with the support of the Consulate on 24 June; talk by Prof. Shiva Prakash, Professor, JNU titled “Contemporary Indian Theatre: Problems and Prospects-A Playwrights Perspective” on Friday, 14 July; talk by Mr. Gautam Chakrabarti, Assistant Lecturer, Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) titled "A New 'Tandav': Indian Angry Heroes in the Theatre and Bollywood"on 17 July; Festival of India as part of the celebrations of 70 years of Independence from 2-7 September with a Music Concert by reputed violinist Shri C.S. Anuroop; a Kathak performance led by Ms. Nandini Singh and her Disciples; an Exhibition on the ‘Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi in Pictures’ and a Literary Festival with the participation of three famous writers from India; celebrations of Gandhi Jayanti on 02 October with floral tributes at the Gandhiji statue in Iberapuera Park followed by events at the ICC 03 October including an Exhibition on the Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi and concluding with a monologue by actor João Signorelli Gandhi, um Líder Servidor. Consulate also supported the activities of Palas Athena in celebrating their the 36th Gandhi Week "In the footsteps of Gandhi - Because it still inspires and surprises"; visit of an ICCR sponsored 5 member Odissi dance group to Sao Paulo from 18-23 October led by Shatabdi Mallik with performances at Porto Alegre for the Diwali celebrations by the Vera Edler Yoga School and participation in the Diwali celebrations of the Indian Association of Sao Paulo as well as a performance at the Museum of Images; ICCR sponsored visit of Dr. Nagamallika Gudipaty, The English and Foreign Languages, University of Hyderabad to participate in the 1st Brazil India Journalism Research Colloquium: Rethinking Journalism on a Global South Perspective in Sao Paulo (Brazil) on 06 &07 November; Annual Students Day celebrations by all dance Teachers and Students of ICC on 10 November; Celebration of India Week at Clube Hebraica on 25 November; commencemnt of the monthly event Chai com Letras (Tea with Poets) from 12 December.
Major events in 2018 include celebration on 09 January of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas; a performance on 11 January by the reputed Contemproary dancer Astad Deboo and the Drummers of Manipur at Clube Hebraica and a master workshop on 12 January with the support of the State Culture Department; Gandhiji’s Martyrdom Day on 30 January; Musical concert on 03 February by Violin Maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam and reputed Bollywood singer Mrs. Kavita Krishnamurthy – made memorable by rendition of the famous Portuguese song ‘Asa Branca in Portuguese’; lecture demonstration on 27 March of Kutiyattam dance form by Vivian Soto Dardeau; Quiz competition on 14 April on ‘100 years of Champaran Satyagraha’; ‘India – An Experience’ on 15 April at the Unibes Cultural Centre with the support of the Indian Association of Sao Paulo showcasing the classical dance forms taught in ICC, followed by a traditional Indian marriage ceremony and bridal show from different states and snacks from different states of India;
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. The India based Teacher of Indian Culture takes the daily Yoga classes and also takes a weekly Hindi class in the ICC. 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
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”.