The Indian Leaders Programme travelled to Valladolid during a jam-packed session that included a discussion at Universidad de Valladolid and a visit to Abadía Retuerta
The first activity for the Leaders in Valladolid was a visit to Casa de la India, where they were welcomed by Guillermo Rodríguez Martín, Managing Director of the institution, who greeted them with the following words: “Welcome to your home in Spain.”
Rodríguez gave an overview of the Casa de la India project, a centre for the promotion of Indian culture in Spain created thanks to the support of Universidad de Valladolid, the City Council and the Embassy of India to Spain. Rodríguez emphasised that “our goal is to serve as a tool to strengthen India-Spain cultural, social and institutional relations.”
The building which houses these offices was inaugurated in 2006, and features various elements from India, such as stone from Rajasthan and a replica of a traditional Ahmedabad mansion on the patio. The Leaders showed an interest in the design and architecture, and the host replied that they “didn’t want it to be too ornamental, we’d rather it had many small details reminding us of India.”
During the tour of the building, the participants in the Leaders Programme were shown the rest of the facilities, such as the library, the classrooms, the auditorium and the exhibition ‘La India a través de tu mirada’ (India through your own eyes). Among the works displayed was award-winning photograph ‘Niños en la aldea’ (Children in the hamlet) by Mario Martínez Miranda, which was selected from among 721 entries.
Guillermo Rodríguez also talked to the delegation about the importance of the city of Valladolid, which was the capital of Spain for a time as well as the city where Cristopher Columbus spent the final days leading up to his death in 1506. “Columbus thought he was going to India and, 500 years later, we have made his dream come true by bringing India to Spain,” he joked.