Netherlands has second largest population of people of Indian origin in Europe (next only to UK). It is home to about 220,000 Indian and Surinami Hindustani Diaspora, wholly integrated into Dutch society. Although their forebears left India nearly 150 years ago, the Hindustani-Surinami community has deep cultural links with India and is active in promoting cultural cooperation through well-established institutions. There has been a Member of Parliament from the community. Prominent Surinamese are members of Municipal Councils, like current Dy Mayor of Hague Municipality – Mr. Rabin Baldewsingh.
The Indian Community as well as the host country is deeply attached to the legacy of Gandhiji. Gandhi Jayanthi is a major event here. There are statues of Gandhiji at several locations in Netherlands.
The Indian community has played a significant role in contributing to the cultural traditions of both countries in a mutually harmonious and beneficial manner while also helping in expanding and creating a favourable climate for further improvement of bilateral business relations through organisations like the Netherlands India Association (NIA) and Netherlands India Chamber of Commerce and Trade (NICCT). The Indian community is the fastest growing group of expatriates in metropolitan Amsterdam and has in its own way contributed to the enrichment of cultural ethos as well as the commercial success of the city.
It is unprecedented that two prominent Persons of Indian origin based in Netherlands have been awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (in 2009 and 2011) for their contribution to Diaspora related issues. The last awardee – Mr. Wahid Saleh, is a social entrepreneur and a community leader based in Netherlands who has received the award for his contribution to activities supporting educational institutions in Assam and Northeast region in India.
NRIs and PIOs from Netherlands regularly participate in Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conventions. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Europe - the third edition in the series of regional mini-PBDs - was held in The Hague on 19 September 2009, in partnership with Embassy, Hague Municipality and Indian Diaspora organizations in Netherlands. The Annual Diaspora Conference held in The Hague on 25 September 2011 was jointly inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Shri Vayalar Ravi and Mayor of The Hague Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, while the subsequent Diaspora Conference held on 30 September 2012 in Amsterdam was jointly inaugurated by Mayor of Amstelveen and Mayor of Haarlemmermeer.