Week of Nobel magic in India


The Sweden India Nobel Memorial Week 2009 will be held between Oct 31 and Nov 7, across Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bengalaru. After Delhi, the group will tour Pune and Mumbai respectively.

Kickstarting the festival is an opera concert where popular Swedish opera singers, Ulrika Tenstam and Mats Carlsson accompanied by pianist Michael Engstrom will perform extracts of famous musicals like 'Chess', 'Phantom of the Opera' and 'Sound of Music.'

Along with this the repertoire consists of a mix of classical music from famous European operas, traditional Swedish songs and modern popular music.

"This is the third year now that we have arranged this Nobel memorial week and the focus is to try to popularise Sweden in India and to show the potential for more economic cooperation between both the countries," Lars-Olof Lindgren, Swedish ambassador to India said.

The weeklong activities are strung together by the Nobel thread around the broad themes of creativity and innovation. The Nobel Week is an unique initiative in India and is not observed in other countries.

"It is a way for us to pay tribute to all the Nobel laureates from India. This year an Indian origin professor won the Prize for Chemistry," says the ambassador.

A highpoint during the Nobel Week celebrations at Stokholm and Oslo is the Nobel memorial dinner, a replica of which would be made available at the Swedish food festival.

"The food festival would be held at the Taj hotel in New Delhi. The same chef who cooked the Nobel dinner served at the city hall in Stockholm for the laureates and their guests would be cooking for us," said the ambassador.

The nobel week in India includes a series of seminars, lectures and roundtables too. In Pune, the week begins tomorrow with an intercollegiate quiz at Symbiosis International University, followed by a lecture on "Meeting the Water Challenge" by Johan Rockstrom.

The quiz then travels to Mumbai and Bengaluru before the grand finale in Delhi, where winners from all the other cities will compete for the champion's trophy and a free trip to Sweden.

Johan Rockstrom will also be the keynote speaker at a panel discussion on Green Power in Mumbai. Lectures in Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi will be on Sustainable mobility and the Environment and Indoor Environment and Green Ventilation, respectively.

"We have a roundtable conference on the theme "Frugal technologies" where we would invite CEOs and business delegates of Indian companies and Swedish companies to sit together and discuss various issues," says the ambassador.

"Technology is one of the areas we think we can bring together India and Sweden. In most cases Swedish technology is extremely high tech and often we are not able to adapt it to the Indian context," he adds.

In its last leg, the Nobel memorial week comes to Delhi and over three days, will also witness a Swedish defence industry day and culminate in the Nobel Party.

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