Netherlands names a tulip after Indian American diplomat Shefali Razdan Duggal


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A tulip in the Netherlands has been named after Indian American diplomat Shefali Razdan Duggal, the US Ambassador to the country, for advocating for gender equity, as it celebrated International Women’s Day.

Tulipa Shefali comes from Maveridge International’s breeding program in St. Maarten and grew out of a years-long project for strong and healthy tulips, a press release said.

Shefali Razdan Duggal was sworn in as US Ambassador to the Netherlands on September 20, 2022.  She is a San Francisco Committee member of Human Rights Watch, serves on the Leadership and Character Council at Wake Forest University, and is on the National Advisory Board of Inside Washington at Miami University of Ohio. 

“It is a genuine and surreal honor to be included amongst such a remarkable group of individuals who have received this recognition. The tulip is a beautiful flower which has been cherished and loved for centuries and so positively represents the Kingdom of the Netherlands,” Razdan Duggal, 52, said.

“As the first Ambassador to receive the high honor of having a tulip named after me, it is so befitting to unveil the ‘Shefali Tulip’ today, on International Women’s Day,” she said, referring to the celebrations held on March 8.

“Throughout history, women have been forced to overcome gender bias and discrimination, and we have worked hard and continue to work hard to each milestone. We do this for ourselves and for future generations of women to be seen, to be heard, to be included and to be empowered,” Razdan Duggal said.

A Kashmiri born in Haridwar in India, Razdan Duggal moved to the United States at a very young age and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a B.S. in Mass Communication, with a minor in Political Science, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an M.A. in Media Ecology from New York University.

Tulip breeding is a long-term endeavor. Accordingly, the origin of the Shefali tulip dates to 2009. One of the crosses in the project was “Tulipa Lucky Strike” with a strong cutting tulip.

Tulips season runs from the end of March until mid-May. The start and duration of the tulip season depend on the temperature. When it is cool the tulips will only bloom for 1-2 weeks. Over the centuries, they have become synonymous with the Netherlands and loved and admired around the world.

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