Bollywood lures the dragon

 If you think that the Bollywood movies, with their potential for transporting the audience into a dream world of fantasy, would not be welcome in the Communist China then you could be wrong.

It is just not Buddhism that ties the Chinese society with India but also the new breed of Bollywood movies that are playing a role in synthesising the cultural bonds between the two Asian giants and economic powers.

"Bollywood films are very popular in China. They can compete with the Hollywood hits. '3 Idiots' particularly became very popular in our country," said Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yan who interacted with an audience assembled at the opening of the first 'India-China Centre' here this week.

Asked to describe the cultural bonds that unite the two neighbours, who have had the ups and downs in their relationship, the Ambassador was quick to respond.
"The Buddhist philosophy from India is a strong influence that has enriched and contributed to our culture. Then there is yoga from India which is also popular with the opening of training centres in the country.

"Another influence is the Bollywood films which are becoming very popular in China. Bollywood films are competing with the Hollywood hits," said the Chinese envoy to India.
Highlighting the cultural harmony, Zhang said, "My embassy staff too is undergoing training in yoga", drawing an applause from the audience comprising academicians, social workers, businessmen and diplomats who included former Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen.

The opening of the centre here was happening in 2012, being celebrated as the "Year of Dragon" in China, denoting good fortunes as per the Chinese zodiac, he noted. Prakash Ambegaonkar, founder of 'Bridging Nations' (BN), a US-based non-profit group which has set up the centre, in a talk with PTI said "despite the growing significance of both the countries in global politics, the mutual relationship between India and China have been understudied."

The growth of these two Asian neighbours was conducive to the long-term sustained economic development of the world, he observed.

"This centre will strive to strengthen India-China relations by identifying overlapping interests and involving peoples of both the countries in the policy-making process."
The initiative "relies upon principle of activism" and building bridges between the two countries, Ambegaonkar said.

"The India-China programme of BN aims at understanding the fundamentals behind both the countries' ideas as emerging powers in the coming decades and the centre will focus on the initiatives in the fields of education, technology and policy," Ambegaonkar stated.
The activities will include delegation programme for students, corporates, NGOs, academicians and policymakers, study of Mandarin (Chinese) language in India as well as collaboration with universities and institutions in China.

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