After concrete conversations and pristine promises to open markets further to each other during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to New Delhi and Mumbai last week, India and China this week landed on softer territory with cultural exchanges, a meeting of the minds and philosophical ponderings. The two nations will jointly hold a conference entitled From Tagore to Mo Yan: The Universality of the One at Tongji University in Shanghai.
Presided over by Padma Bhushan Tan Chung, the defacto authority on Sino-Indian Culture, and disciple of Rabindranath Tagore, who influenced 20th century China, the two day conference will discuss the arts, literature and changing thought processes of the East. Highlighting the Oriental civilization, participants will speak on the Wests views on Asia, Chinese Culture going global and the relevance of Tagore today. Drawing parallels between Tagore and Mo Yan’s literature and subsequent impact, the conference will throw light on the relation between the two countries – classics and literature.
Building on softer relations between China and India, the two nations have come a long way – from Yoga and Tai Chi to bollywood in China and Chinese cuisine flourishing in India. Further aroused by the Indian hospitality industry aggressively entering the Chinese tourism space, language and culture exchanges have enlarged. Although there are five time more Indians travelling to China than Chinese in India, the number of flights and passengers has see a steady upward curve in the past few years. The Indians have always been curious of their neighbours behind the bamboo curtain and of late an increasing number of Chinese too have a piqued interest in their southern soulmates. Nobody can deny the innate connections between our two peoples, and thats exactly what both governments are pinning their hopes on too. A better understanding between Indians and Chinese will not only lead to greater business ties and add value for both countries but will also elevate Asia and the bilateral nexus we share.
Lets strengthen our soft issues to avoid a hard landing.