Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In China



My business duties took me to China recently. I was in Shenzhen (next to Hong Kong) for four days, and in Beijing for another four days. In Shenzhen, I attended the China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF). I stayed at the Motel 168 of Hongling Road. On Sunday, 20 April, I roamed around in the residential neighbourhoods, shopping areas and markets near my hotel and took a lot of photographs.

I then took a flight to Beijing, where I stayed with a young friend from Calcutta, Atish Ghosh, who now lives in Beijing. Atish studied Chinese at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and then got a scholarship for graduate study in China. He works for the China Automotive Review. His apartment is in the Haidian district. His partner, Natasha, who is Russian, works for the Xinhua news agency, and is completing her doctoral dissertation, on Chinese Buddhist texts.

In Beijing, I attended business meetings, and was also able to meet a couple of Chinese friends, Nancy and Valance. I was able to meet my cousin, Kartik, who is currently in Beijing, where he works for the Beijing Review. I was able to take photographs during my walks in Beijing. I gave up my touristy plans of visiting the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, and went shopping for gifts instead to the Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market.

However much one might read and study about China, I think its important to be in China and see and feel things for oneself. In turn, having been there can create a strong interest to know more and thus read about China's history, culture etc. Being in China was a very educative and humbling experience indeed. I am fortunate to have had this opportunity.

3 comments:

Nila-kantha-chandra said...

Someone asked me: "in what ways was it 'a very educative and humbling experience'?"

My reply: Educative - in so many ways, for one's own very personal learning, as a businessman, and as a thinking and human being with a conscience. Once in China, I felt that anything I might have thought or known, not only about China, but even a lot in one's general world-view - had been rendered ignorant and irrelevant. Hence humbling, because one discerned one's own prior unconsidered presumptive arrogance. The value of Silence - inner, as much as outer - was never clearer! Of course, one took in all the visible impact of public policy and of capital flowing to directions enabled and steered by specific values and choices. Again, reflection also led me to some significant personal awareness, about what I am or have done, in essence, in the last 25
years.

Anonymous said...

For me, visiting a new place is always educative, including local people's behavior/attitude, public service facilities, service processing efficiency, and even road signs... I'll visit India one day for learning new things :) Looking forward to your another visit to BJ. Valance

Anirban said...

Dear Rama,

Sorry for the late reaction. Very nice pictures. China amazes me the more I know about her. Both me and my wife (who is Chinese) are looking forward to reading more of your thoughts from your visit. I was particularly intrigued by what you said about the value of silence.