The Belgian Consulate in Mumbai organised an event with a myriad of exhilarating activities lined up at The Taj Land’s End to mark King’s Day. The invitees included leaders across the diplomatic, cultural and business worlds.
Belgian diplomatic missions view this day as a unique opportunity to celebrate and showcase Belgian culture and heritage to other countries while highlighting the strengths of their own country. The King's Day has been celebrated in Belgium on November 15th
since 1866 when Leopold II decreed it. Since 2001, the Belgian Federal Parliament holds a ceremony in honor of the King, in the presence of members of the Belgian Royal Family and other dignitaries. While 15th
November is indeed the date of the patron saint of King Leopold, the date has been kept since then as the official day to celebrate the subsequent Belgian monarchs.
The event this year in Mumbai included an Indo-Belgian fusion dance performed by a Kathak artist Seema Mehta and a taste of Belgian cuisine prepared specially by Chef Vincent Tibau. Speaking at the occasion, Consul General Mr. Pierre-Emmanuel said that, “King’s Day brings together a curated experience of Belgium in India. It has been heart-warming to showcase the varied aspects of Belgium- food, culture and traditions. Every experience we bring to India on this special day is well thought of keeping Belgium-India synergies in mind. In the last decade, the celebration of King’s Day has contributed greatly to highlighting Belgium’s strengths bringing about its distinct and valued identity across business, tourism, culture. We are delighted at the turn out of the event and the appreciation received throughout.”
Seema Mehta, a poised Kathak dancer, raised in Belgium, who trained under the legendary Kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das under the Guru-shishya parampara for fifteen years, put up a rousing performance. The act was curated on the Belgian tale, Maneblussers (Moon Extinguishers) enacted through the Kathak dance form. While the culinary delight was put-up by Vincent Tibau, the chef behind Absolutely Food. Chef Tibau offered a memorable culinary experience while sharing his expertise with guests.
As a tribute to the ninth art of Belgium, comics, an area was created to showcase the characters created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, of Tintin, Captain Haddock and Snowy in their spacesuits along with the iconic red and white rocket. Also sharing the space was a cut out of a Smurf. Whisky connoisseurs got to conduct their own tasting sessions of the Belgium Owl Single Malt Whisky.
The diplomatic relations between India and Belgium were established in 1947 and the countries have seen growing partnerships over the years.
Today an exclusive event is being held at the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy conducted by Chef Tibau. Along with his culinary experiences, he will also demonstrate two of his signature desserts.