The popularity of Bollywood chartbusters can be gauged by the fact that the state-run China Radio International’s Hindi service has now announced an ‘Indian Dance Contest’ for Chinese.
The contest is supported by the Indian embassy in China and the India-China Friendship Association.
“We are receiving a large number of entries. Many Chinese like Indian dances, especially the Bollywood style of dancing,” Qian Hongjiang, director of the First Asian Broadcasting Centre at the radio station, said.
“We have put up several videos sent by the contestants on our website. The response is very good and encouraging.
“The response to this contest shows how Indian dance and music are gaining popularity in China,” he added.
According to Qian, the winners of the contest would travel to India.
“We are hoping to organise many such activities. We hope that the Indian people would also be interested to know more about art and culture in China,” he added.
In Beijing, where preparations are on for Premier Wen Jiabao’s two-day visit to India, more and more Chinese harp on the need to scale up people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
“What is most important is greater people-to-people contact. We have a deep interest in India. There is a common cultural heritage. More and more Chinese people want to know about India,” said Jiang Jingkui, who is vice director of the Centre for India Studies at Peking University.
Several students at the university who have visited India said that they came back enriched — and intend to know more about Indian culture.
“Our students visit India under exchange programmes. All of them have come back with very pleasant memories. Common Chinese people want to know more and more about India,” Jiang said.
One such student said that he lived with an Indian family. “I stayed at Wardha in Maharashtra.
“I also attended an Indian wedding,” the student said. “I really like Indian culture. And I would like to know more and also visit India again and again,” he said.