Hindi Chini Behen Behen

Hindi Chini behen behen.jpg

An anonymous tipster left a link to an “awww”-inducing story from Beijing, China, on our news tab.

After Bollywood films, classical Indian dance has caught the imagination of the Chinese, with a young woman actively promoting Bharatnatyam among her compatriots, especially the tiny-tots.
For 33-year-old Jin Shan Shan, a Jawaharlal Nehru University alumnus, it has always been a passion to become an exponent of Bharatnatyam. She has established a school for Bharatnatyam here. [The Hindu]

Like Amreekans, the Chinese are dabbling in many things desi, like Bollywood, yummy food and of course teh yoga. Can’t forget that yoga.

Aside: Is there a better cultural ambassador? We have millions of confused, middle-aged, New Year’s Resolution-keepers all across this land, taking Yoga at Bally fitness and the like, trying not to fall over when they’re attempting an Ardha Chandrasana. ;) Now people can add incense and twisty poses to the pottu, when they assemble a stereotype. :D Don’t get your chuddies all twisted, yaar. I’m just high off the cuteness in that picture (that’s Jin Shan Shan and her adorable daughter Jessie, in Beijing).

While Bollywood films, Indian cuisine and yoga have become popular in China, learning classical Indian dance is also gaining ground here, Ms. Jin said. Around 50 Chinese children were attending classes every week to learn the intricacies of the classical dance. [The Hindu]

Wouldn’t it be amazing if the arts accomplished what the Panch Shila couldn’t? Yes, yes it would be. Then again, will hundreds of stomping little kids have any effect on China’s “take” on Arunachal Pradesh?

In November 2006, China and India had a verbal spat over claim of the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. India claimed that China was occupying 38,000 square kilometres of its territory in Kashmir, while China claimed the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as its own.
Recently, China denied the application for visa from an IAS officer in Arunachal Pradesh, saying that since Arunachal Pradesh is a territory of China, he/she won’t need a visa to visit his/her own country. [viki]

An irresponsibly naive idealist can hope, right? Be the change you wish to see?

114 thoughts on “Hindi Chini Behen Behen

  1. Hu Shih, Chinese Ambassador to the US (1938-42) articulated concern over Indian “cultural imperialsim” in China in this paper: http://www.csua.berkeley.edu/~mrl/HuShih/

    This is a quote, I can’t seem to find it in the paper above, that is attributed to him: “India Conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border”

    There’s always been a concern about oustide ideas, though my bet is that American evangelical Christianity has probably replaced Buddhism as the primary concern for the PROC. I doubt that India inspires any anxiety in Beijing today….

    I sent a note about all this to a non-desi, non-Chinese guy who used to live in Beijing. He had this to say: I’m an innocent bystander in this discussion, but I got the strong impression in Beijing, from Indians and Chinese, that the relationship, both govt to govt and between the peoples, is far more nuanced and in some respects strained, than people in the west understand or could guess. And of course, it stretches back centuries. I do believe there are peoples and cultures with whom South Asians feel more sympatico, than with the Chinese; by the same point, some South Asian (and of course, Western) cultural traits and characteristics just naturally make Chinese grind their teeth And yet, the rubbish in the west about these two emerging economic powers posing econ threat to each other, is rubbish; and the military threat they pose to each other (like any two strong neighbors) is at the risk of being overstated and fanned by the west. (I linked to this SM posting here: http://www.sajaforum.org/2007/08/china-the-beiji.html)
  2. Posterity, as a Punjabi who grew up in Rajasthan, I love both cuisines.

    Amit: my mom is a Punjabi who grew up in Ganganagar in Rajasthan – where did you grow up?

  3. Amit: my mom is a Punjabi who grew up in Ganganagar in Rajasthan – where did you grow up?

    Fuerza, I grew up in Kota. And you?

  4. Both China and India face female deficits in their populations – in each case there is about a 6% excess of males
    Psst! *whisper: it’s because they kill their girls! *

    This is a common misleading intuition. Having an unbalanced gender ratio need not necessarily be the result of killing/aborting females. For instance: If families, on the average are more likely to stop having kids after a male is born than after a female (to try for a possible male in the future), it is easy to prove that this would result in a clear gender imbalance inspite of each birth being a perfectly fair coin toss in terms of the probability of being male or female.

  5. Inspiration for this story posting’s title:

    No, it wasn’t. I actually never read that thread. It happens. I had read every comment on this site for over two years, until late last year, when that became impossible, or I would’ve remembered it.

    If it’s that important to you to establish that I don’t deserve the one comment which appreciated my attempt at being clever, then by all means, everybody, listen up: I wasn’t the first to write those words on this site.

  6. The title of this topic sounds racist – Hindi chini behen behen ???? oh ya and another thing – it isnt the big deal they learn these things u see, the foriegners, you see it takes our American Immigrant brothers(and sisters) to learn what they miss in India going there – and and culturally steal our culture – reffering to so called bhangra nights – wearing sari is like a curse here and against womens rights in India, our women if said to be traiditional: say we men are chauvanists, the Shashi Taroor incident on Times of India Newspaper. We cannot advise our ladies to wear traditional clothes, they prefer jeans over sari, women over men!!!! and booze and ………. Its acceptable. and when a chinese or a forigner embrace Indian culture its a big deal

  7. IndianBoy, how is it racist? Also, sounds like a lot of pent up rage. What’s so wrong with bhangra nights, anyway? :)

  8. I am not going to even bother to take sides on the wearing of saris. But IndianBoy needs to get a clue when it comes to comparing blog entries. The fuss over the Tharoor thing was over wearing saris regularly. The Chinese thing was over how cute it is to see some Chinese lady and her daughter in a sari and teaching Bhartnatyam. I doubt that means the same people who were not pleased with Tharoor’s comments were wanting this Chinese lady to wear a sari on a regular basis to do her chores or visit a friend.

  9. I’m coming to this discussion too late for anyone to see my comment but I’ll put it up anyway: in Malaysia, lots of Chinese people actually study (and excel at) Bharatanatyam. One of our best-known young dancers, Mavin Khoo, is half Chinese and half Indian (a combination known as Chindian in Malaysia/Singapore, where Indian-Chinese intermarriages are common enough to be statistically significant). And one of our veteran teachers is Ramli Ibrahim, who is Malay but has probably done more for Bharatanatyam than any other single figure in the country. For those interested in cross-pollination with old, deep roots, there’s really no better region to check out.

  10. hi i want to know your names because you guys look so beautiful i love you guys nice to meet you bye bye my new friends from indian my name is markabo

  11. Accomplishments are fantastic however I think – “being” who we turn out to be is always best however harder to review. I would like to think that coming from Poland and living here, that I have become a significantly more appreciative of all things – large, little and inconsequential. I endeavor not to take any situation for granted.