Chini Ko Hindi Se Pyaar Hai…

>Today, for the first time since I arrived in China, I was asked if I’m a Pakistani. I was a bit taken aback. Usually, most South Asians are asked if they’re from India.

Whenever I say I’m from India, it evokes a ‘Wow!’. The average Chinese is very gung-ho about India and more particularly, Indian food. Everyone wants to try it. And they’re all fascinated by Indian clothes. During the Independence Day celebrations at the Indian Consulate in Shanghai, we all decided to, quite literally, wear our patriotism on our sleeves. So early in the A.M. we marched to the consulate, decked out in saris and kurtas and pajamas and tons of jewellery, for the flag-hoisting ceremony. We drew a fairly large crowd of onlookers, most of whom were positively riveted by our clothes.

Bollywood is also quite well-known. Once, while bargaining vigorously at a shop, my mother was called Aishwarya Rai by the young saleswoman. Almost immediately they arrived at a mutually agreeable price for the item in question. I’ve often wondered how much the Aishwarya Rai compliment had to do with it. (Note: The Chinese are fantastic salespeople. Really. They know just what to say.)

Another time, an old man asked me where I’m from. I told him and he immediately burst into ‘Awaala hooon…!’ And then there’s this security guard in our society who, everytime he sees me, greets me with a half-saluting gesture and says ‘Yindu!’ (Yindu = India).

Seems like Hindi-Chini are bhai-bhai, after all.


6 thoughts on “Chini Ko Hindi Se Pyaar Hai…

  1. >Lucky you! Some of us just sit in the same city for 23 years and wonder if there is life on Mars! And quite honestly, your post makes me want to believe that if an Indian astronaut were to land up in Mars, a Bollywood welcome wouldn’t be a surprise, eh!

  2. >Next time somebody asks you’re from pakistan better go with the ear splittin sunny deol-ing dialogs like “Main india hoon kyunki mere liye maa aur mulk aek hai” and stuff like that. And make sure it doesnt spawn to communal violence! Happy yo spread the madness! cheers!

  3. >funny thing is how here we are so fascinated by anything chinese, like their food, their clothes and their movie…looks like its a mutual admiration club..just an off the cuff question : does everyone there know karate?

  4. >@ DSJust my luck, man!@AJThat would be cool, what? I’m sure the Chinese would actually enjoy Gadar if they ever watched it. From what I’ve seen of old Hong Kong movies, they seem to enjoy stuff like that!@TysYeah…it is funny, but quite natural, no? We’re just so different from each other!

  5. >Speaking about chinese interest in bollywood, I had gone out on lunch with my chinese advisor and while on a random talk, I was absolutely astonished to discover that he had actually seen some raj kapoor movies when he was young!!!

  6. >Hallo…I am a Chinese myself…nice to see your pleasant experiences in China….yes I hope our 2 peoples and 2 countries can get much closer to each other…Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai…Btw I myself also admire alot of Indian movies, music, and especially dance in Bolywood movies. Another thing I admire is Sari, which many Indian women around the world still wear. It is very elegant and more importantly for me, signify a preservation of culture. Btw while in college my roommate was an Indian for 1 year. I really hope Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai can be steadily improved for generations.

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