Winning Hearts and Tongues
Gastrodiplomat and Friend of the Blog Paul Rockower urges India to pursue gastrodiplomacy to promote its nation brand. In the Huffington Post, Rockower writes: "In an age of increasing obesity and heart disease in the West as related to Western diets, as well as diseases outbreaks like BSE, E. coli and salmonella that have plagued meat supplies, India's more healthy vegetarian diet could be a source of soft power for India."
Korea launched its Presidential Council on Nation Branding in 2009, and while some of its initiatives could use a little work (Only 18 likes on Facebook? Really?) the Council has made moves to support some innovative strategies, such as a new cultural diplomacy initiative to promote Buddhist temples abroad. OK, so it's not exactly groundbreaking stuff. But it's definitely better than the 2009 claims that kimchi could protect people from H1N1 influenza.
Smells Like State Spirit
NationBranding.info reports that Lithuania recently launched a nation-branding perfume, evidently operating on the "to smell us is to love us" plan. The privately funded effort has produced about 1,000 bottles of "Smell of Lithuania." Fortunately for the United States, Stephen Colbert is already working on a counter-scent: "I Smell American and So Can You."
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