A high-level delegation comprising of six members from the General Office of Yunnan Provincial Government visited India in December 2017. The team arrived with the group leader Mr. Liu Zhao, Supervision Commissioner along with group members Mr. Tao Zhidong, Division Chief, Ms. Zhang Yunping, Consultant, Ms. Zhao Qingling, Deputy Division Chief, Mr. Zhang Yin, Division Chief and Ms. Xu Xiaoqian, Deputy Division Chief.
Mohammed Saqib, Secretary General of ICEC received them with a warm welcome at the office located in New Delhi. The delegation primarily discussed with Mr. Saqib about the potential to develop cultural exchanges between India and China, both countries which are rich in heritage and culture. Mr. Liu Zhao agreeing with Mr. Saqib asserted that cultural interaction between both countries along with the growing business ties will help the people get closer and better appreciate each other’s traditions.
Few of the ideas discussed to help improve cultural interaction between the countries included food festivals, university collaborations to increase exchange students, film festivals, handicrafts exhibitions promoting local handmade products and promotion of herbal products like Pu’erh tea from the Yunnan province and Ayurvedic products from India.
Discussing about the potential of food festival, Mr. Saqib said that conducting such events would be very successful in India as people are very welcoming about Chinese cuisine, furthermore this will give an opportunity for people in India to appreciate more authentic tastes coming from China. He also added that opening Chinese restaurants in India especially Sichuan cuisine like ‘huo guo’ or Chinese hot pot will be well received.
Another opportunity that had potential to do well in terms of cultural exchange was film festivals. With the success of Indian films like ‘Dangal’ and ‘3 Idiots’ starring Aamir Khan, certain appreciation for Indian films has already been generated in China. Mr. Saqib said that a similar activity showcasing Chinese films would help improve our relations.
The delegation team appreciated the suggestions and discussion on this topic and looked forward to working with ICEC to further the cultural ties between both our countries.