Yash Chopra has added another feather to his cap. He was honoured with the title of 'Ambassador of Interlaken', in Interlaken last weekend, making him the first recipient of this prestigious award. A silver plaque was also dedicated to him which will be placed in Interlaken along the Hoheweg - Interlaken's famous main street.
Hosted by the Mayor of Interlaken, Urs Graf, the impressive function took place at the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa amidst leading Swiss politicians and industrialists along with selected Indian and Swiss media. This honour for Yash Chopra had been announced on October 25, 2010 in New Delhi by the Swiss Embassy during which Mr. Chopra was also bestowed the 'Swiss Ambassador's Award.'
A majestic 'Yash Chopra Suite' was also inaugurated at the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken's most luxurious hotel. The CEO of Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Mr. Hans - Rudolf Rütti, handed the keys to Mr. and Mrs. Chopra, to what will likely become the most famous suite in the hotel. While other famous celebrities have stayed at the hotel, Mr. Chopra is perhaps the only one to have the honour of a suite being named after him, other than King Louis XVI!
A further honour was the 'Yash Chopra Train' which was launched as part of the Jungfrau Railways, Switzerland, possibly the first of its kind tribute. The ceremony was held at the picturesque Kleine Scheidegg, the spectacular mountain pass. Mr. Yash Chopra did the honours along with the CEO of Jungfrau Railways, Urs Kessler. The only other person who has a Jungfrau Railways' train named after him is the pioneer of the Jungfrau Railways, Adolf Guyer-Zeller.
The Swiss dignitaries present at these functions, unanimously echoed the same sentiments about Mr. Chopra that "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." All of this is indeed a fitting tribute to an icon because of whom, thousands of Indians internationally have wanted to explore Switzerland and in instances, even make it their home.
Mr. Chopra, along with Mrs. Pamela Chopra, felt very grateful and was ecstatic with the honours which made him feel very proud to be an Indian. He stated that the gesture by the people of Switzerland was a matter of national pride. The warmth and affection shown to him by the Swiss will be one of the most unforgettable and cherished experiences of his life.
Truly the people of India, Indian tourists and fans of many of the Yash Raj Films shot in Switzerland (like FAASLE, VIJAY, CHANDNI, DDLJ, MOHABBATEIN and VEER ZAARA among others) will be thrilled with an honour of this nature being presented to Yash Chopra.