Bringing China closer to India – through Bollywood

Shanghai, Jan 20: Bollywood cinema is bringing China a wee bit closer to India. Chinese women in particular are now becoming big fans of Bollywood, due to the passionate romance, emotions and family bonding they show on screen.

Talk to the young Chinese and they express their love for Indian movies, even though their knowledge of India otherwise is limited and often viewed through the prism of Bollywood song and dance.

Going by the reaction of so many Chinese youngsters, the message of going by what one’s heart says in Raj Kumar Hirani’s “3 Idiots” is a big hit among them.

“Youngsters in China love to watch Indian love stories,” 23-year-old Jiachen Fang told a visiting IANS correspondent.

“3 Idiots” dubbed in Chinese is particularly popular in China. “I liked ’3 Idiots’ so much that I would love to watch it time and again,” she said.

She said she liked the movie because it conveys one should follow his heart and do things which one likes.

Fang, a business management professional settled in Ruian town, famous for the apparel industry in east China’s Zhejiang province, believes that Aamir Khan movies are generally full of touching scenes.

John Abraham’s “Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal” was also encouraging and motivating for her.

Clockly Zhao, a Tangxia-based entrepreneur, liked the role of the “machoman” (Sanjay Dutt) in both his films – “Munnabhai M.B.B.S.” and “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”.

“I am awaiting the third instalment (of the “Munnabhai” series),” she said.

Zhao was surprised when she was told that the 53-year-old Sanjay Dutt was undergoing three-and-half years jail term for illegal possession of arms during the 1993 Mumbai terror bombings. She said Bollywood films are now competing with Hollywood hits.

Zhao has watched “Chandni Chowk to China”, “3 Idiots”, “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” and several other Hindi movies with English subtitles on the internet.

Xueke Xu, a professional in Shanghai, said there was a growing demand for multi-starrer, family-saga blockbusters like “Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham”.

“Dance sequences (in Indian films) are very impressive. The music is soothing too,” Xueke told IANS.

Chinese women are big fans of Bollywood, owing to passionate love, romance, emotions and family bonding, something a miss in Chinese movies, he said.

“People here want emotions and want to cry and laugh and Bollywood is filling those gaps,” he added.

In the affluent city of Wenzhou, a man has named his restaurant ‘Taj Mahal’, hoping to cash in on the popularity of Indian movie buffs in China.

“We play old Hindi numbers only as most of our guests are Bollywood fans,” restaurant manager Allen Chen said.

Last year, official level talks between India and China were held in New Delhi on working out ways to screen more Indian films in China. Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari held talks with his visiting Chinese counterpart Cai Fuchao.

According to the details worked out, the film academies of both countries – the Film and Television Institute of India and the Beijing Film Academy – are to have regular exchange programmes.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

IANS