The Chinese in Kolkata Essay

The Chinese in Kolkata Essay

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The bond between the Chinese and their motherland is very close and strong. They don’t leave their country unless the situation forces them to do so. The calm, laborious above all a follower of harmony in life, the Chinese would not probably seek refuge in another country if China had not been stirred by political upheavals like Opium Wars (1899-1901), First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1945) and the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901). The exodus began and the peaceful and painstaking Chinese fled their country following the Silk Route – the major avenue of international trade from China to Mediterranean Sea – and reached India, though the Chinese had begun their trip to India since the 2nd century.

The cultural interaction between China and India had begun even before the Chinese traders reached India. Historians mention that Fa Hien (or Faxian), the Buddhist monk came walking along the terrain of mountains and across hostile deserts to India in the 3rd century to collect original Buddhist scripture following the flourish of Buddhism in China in the 1st century. The beginning of the 7th century saw another Chinese religious mendicant, Xuanxang (Hsűan-Tsang), the Buddhist monk of the early Tang dynasty, in India who took part in several religious discourses, struck up a friendship with several Indians including King Harshabardhana and studied the country from an erudite scholar’s point of view. The third monk, Zhang Wen Ming (Yijing) who came to India in the period when the 7th century was on its last lap to study the advanced level of Buddhism in Nalanda University in Bihar but he followed the sea-routes.

Though the influx of the Chinese traders, mainly from Guangdong, was unabated in the 7th century, no official report is available supp...

... middle of paper ...

...estaurants that have crowded the streets for over a century the famous Indian Chinese Cuisine continue to thrive here

The Chinese not only live in Kolkata, they live here to the fullest. Their participation in Samaritan jobs deserves mention. One wonders to know that many schools like Mai Kong and Pei Mai are run by the spontaneous donation from the shoe manufacturers in Bentinck Street and tannery owners at Tangra.

Not only leather and cuisine business but also in other fields like dentistry, self grooming (salon), carpentry, even in the corporate world as the most dependable secretarial staff the Chinese have made their presence felt by the Kolkatans.

Initially there were 40000 Chinese in Kolkata, it has come to 2500. Like so many others in Kolkata the Chinese community tries to continue in the city – to hold on the remnant of their glorious past.

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