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Chinese New Year Is A Calcutta Tradition

The 300-year old Chinese community in India has its heartland in Calcutta where it has preserved its traditions through the centuries.

7/14/2014 1:43:52 PM
written By : Shobha Tsering Bhalla Print

Their numbers have dwindled and their traditional businesses such as tanning and shoe-making are slowly winding up but when it comes to celebrating the Chinese New Year in Calcutta there is a touching resurgence of the old Chinatown of yesteryear.

Despite the signs of decay and dispersement, every Chinese New Year, like a proud dowager empress who has seen better days, Tangra  (Calcutta’s China Town) rouses herself for another last hurrah putting every feeble breath into a rousing reminder of what the Indian Chinese community has been famous for over the past three centuries – its indomitable spirit of hard work, perseverance and pride in its culture. 

Indeed, the Chinese New Year celebrations in this old port city are dazzling reminders of how generations of Chinese immigrants, who arrived here in the 18th century, benefitted the city, vastly contributing to its rich treasure-trove of culture.

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