Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

A Barsati In Beijing

It's Awaara that endures, not 1962. Hindi-Chini bhai bhai, it seems, is neither myth nor cliche.

A Barsati In Beijing A Barsati In Beijing

Reel And The Real

  • About 1,000 Indian households, with family or single, live and work in Beijing
  • Last year, 6,000 Indian students, mostly medicos, were enrolled in universities
  • The Indian in the Chinese mind is still defined by Bollywood
  • What Indians like about China: security, business ethos, determination, discipline
  • The problems Indians face: language barrier, cuisine with dog, donkey meat
  • What the Chinese admire about Indians: IT, English language skills
  • What they dislike about Indians: their lack of punctuality


When Zheng Xiao Wen first came to India a decade ago with her Mumbaikar boyfriend M.H. Pastakia, she was surprised by the lack of gaiety in public life. There were no beautiful, young people dancing and singing in the streets or parks, nor was the countryside resounding with laughter and song. "We in China really believed that Indians are a very happy people who danced and sang all the time!" laughs Zheng. "For, we used to watch Indian movies, particularly Raj Kapoor's Awaara, most of the times, because those were the only movies available to us then."

Waiters at a Punjabi restaurant