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Indian Filmmaker Yash Chopra Receives Swiss Honors

Chopra was one of the first Indian directors to shoot overseas, specifically in Swiss locales.

NEW DELHI -- One of India’s most successful filmmakers, veteran director and producer Yash Chopra was honored with the title of “Ambassador of Interlaken” by the Swiss town of the same name.

The ceremony took place over the weekend in Interlaken where a silver plaque was also dedicated to Chopra which will be placed along the Hoheweg, the town’s main street.

Chopra was one of the first Indian filmmakers to use Switzerland as a location for his movies since the 1970s, when it was rare for Indian productions to shoot abroad.

The Swiss honor was first announced in October 2010 in New Delhi by the Swiss Embassy with the ceremony now hosted by the mayor of Interlaken at the luxurious Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa. The hotel also inaugurated the Yash Chopra Suite as another honor for the Bollywood icon.

Chopra was given the Interlaken honors as “he has single handedly influenced tourism to Interlaken as well as all of Switzerland worldwide through his films and has promoted the relationship between Switzerland and India in the most extraordinary way.” 

Chopra was also given another honor with the launch of the Yash Chopra Train, launched by Jungfrau Railways, for which a ceremony was held at the picturesque Kleine Scheidegg mountain pass. The only other person who has a Jungfrau Railways’ train named after him is the pioneer of the Jungfrau Railways, Adolf Guyer-Zeller.

Chopra said he felt “very grateful and was ecstatic with the honours which made him feel very proud to be an Indian. The gesture by the people of Switzerland is a matter of national pride.”

Indian tourists began flocking Switzerland thanks to Chopra’s banner Yash Raj Films delivering blockbuster hits – partly filmed in Switzerland -- such as 1995’s Dilwale Dulhaniye Le Jayenge that also propelled lead actor Shah Rukh Khan to superstardom.

Other Yash Raj Films partly filmed in Swiss locales include Faasle, Vijay, Chandni, Mohabbatein and Veer Zaara.