The Swiss National Day, celebrated at Taj Bengal on Friday evening, saw members of the consul corps in Calcutta come out in full force, with the honorary consul of Switzerland in Calcutta Umesh Chowdhary and his wife Rashmi as the hosts.
“Indo-Swiss relations is not only old but strong,” said Chowdhary, noting the most famous identifiers of Swiss culture for Indians — chocolates, cheese, wine, Yash Chopra and, of course, “Swiss banks”!
To emphasise the popularity of Switzerland as a tourist destination for Indians, Chowdhary pointed out the availability of “kachori sabzi” on Mt. Titlis. Last year, 90,000 visas were issued to Indians visiting the country. The ambassador of Switzerland, Linus Von Castlemur, with his wife Francoise Gardies, addressed dignitaries and members of the consular community in Calcutta. “We cherish values like democracy and freedom, and it is one of the bonds that we share. Switzerland has many friends not only in Bollywood but all over India and India has many friends in Switzerland,” said Castlemur.
The decor for the night reflected the Swiss national colours of red and white, as did the food, with plenty of cheese and wine and Swiss chocolates.