About the author
I am delighted with this initiative by LUXCIOR to put together this editorial on India and the Indian American community of Houston. Thank you and wishing you all the best for this edition.
As two vibrant democracies having open and multicultural societies, commonalities in culture, and shared values, India and United States, particularly Houston, are natural partners. The comprehensive strategic partnership between both countries is broad-based, encompassing the major pillars of our partnership namely security, energy, and technology – and deepening of our bilateral economic engagement and ever-increasing people-to-people contacts.
Houston shares a strong connect and multifaceted ties with India. Trade & investments between both countries have continued to grow steadily. With a large market base, strong institutions, and a young population, India is amongst the leading destinations globally for foreign investors. The rapidly increasing presence of the U.S. companies in India and Indian companies in the United States in areas like energy, healthcare, innovation, information communication technologies, and manufacturing underlines the immense potential for our economic engagement.
The presence of a growing and vibrant Indo – American community in this part of the United States has led to the strengthening of cultural linkages with India. We celebrate major festivals and mark important occasions like National Days of both countries together. The organizing of a large number of events across the region to mark the International Day of Yoga every year illustrates the growing popularity and interest in Yoga, wellness, and traditional systems of Indian medicine.
A large number of Indian students come to study in United States. India’s National Education Policy 2020 offers immense potential to strengthen our partnership in the areas of education and knowledge for building institutional linkages, promoting exchanges, joint research and collaborating with institutions in India.
Houston is amongst the most vibrant and culturally diverse cities in the United States. It is also known as the energy capital of the world, has the Texas Medical Center – the largest medical center in the world, NASA, and many leading companies engaged in areas including space, cutting edge technologies, healthcare and medical research, new and renewable energy, and innovation which offer tremendous opportunities for building fruitful business partnerships.
Given the breadth and range of our engagement, the future offers immense possibilities for the deepening of the India – Houston partnership.
India as a Tourist Destination:
India is amongst the oldest civilizations of the world with rich cultural heritage and traditions. Geographically India is diverse with the snow-covered Himalayas in the North to the tropical forests and coastal regions of the South, a desert in the West to the humid deltas of the East. Equally varying are the climate, fauna, flora, and topography of the country.
India is also a mesmeric conflation of the old and the new, with diverse nuances of cuisines, faiths, arts, crafts, music, nature, lands, people, and history. The highlights of Indian heritage lie in the treasure of its art, architecture, classical dance, music, and traditions of its people. The finesse of Indian handicrafts, the richness of silk, cotton, and other textiles, the ethnicity of jewelry, everything has come down as a heritage from ancient times and is being kept alive generation after generation.
Even food in India is a legacy, differing in look and taste across the country. India is also a land of festivals and fairs. Each festival pertains to different occasions, some welcome the seasons of the year, the harvest, the rains, or the full moon. Others celebrate religious occasions, the birthdays of divine beings and saints, or the advent of the New Year. Offering such diversity, rich heritage, and a myriad of attractions, the country is amongst the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Shri Aseem R. Mahajan, Consul General, Houston, Texas