Diasporic Indians in The Netherlands


NRI/PIO - In The Netherlands

Den Haag
Stichting Interculturele Ontmoetingsmanifestatie Milan
Boylestraat 20
2563 EK Den Haag
Tel:070 - 363 48 77 / 06 - 26 21 80 99
Fax:070 - 363 48 77
Email: milanfestival@yahoo.co.uk

Postal address:
Postbus 61604
2506 AP Den Haag

Milan Festival, started in 1985 as a local festival, now known all over the Netherlands, is major annual multicultural mega-festival of The Hague. It is organised by the Stichting Interculturele Ontmoetingsmanifestatie Milan and takes place in the Zuiderpark. In the past few years several other organisations tried to copy the Milan formula and organised Milan in other places than The Hague.

The Milan Festival, which generally takes place in the last weekend of July, attracts more than 70.000 visitors. Milan was originally a festival for the people of Indian origin of Surinam. Lately more and more local Dutch as well as people of other ethnic communities are visiting the Milan making it a multicultural festival.

Milan started in a period when the local as well as the central Dutch government were searching for ways and means to integrate the migrants and increase their participation in the activities of the society. The objective of Milan is also to help and contribute in the formation of a multicultural society.

Every year the organisers of the Milan Festival try to meet the demand of the multicultural public, which is based on the following five pillars:
  • Art and culture
  • Information
  • Issues and education
  • Sport & games
  • Exotic market and fair attractions
The quality of the cultural programme of the festival gets a very high priority. For this reason Milan tries very hard to include in its cultural programme a few well-known artists from abroad. This in turn helps to promote the city of The Hague before an international public. ICCR from New Delhi is one of the Indian organisations which send artists to participate in the Milan.

Milan is a self-supporting festival. From 1992 onwards Milan does not get subsidy from the government or from the city council of The Hague.

As of 2005 Milan has introduced a new element to the festival called Indian Valley - the 1st Dutch_Indian Outdoor Dance Event in Europe.

Top photo: Mr. J. R. Ajodhia, Vice President of Surinam opening Milan Festival 2004.
Second photo: First row: Mr. Pradhan, Minister - Indian Embassy,
Mr. W. J. Deetman,Mayor of The Hague,  etc.

Photo's by Wahid Saleh