Munnabhai, six-pack abs Shahrukh popular in China’s traditional HarbinNovember 14th, 2007 - 2:53 am ICT by admin
Though not as westernised or as noisy as other Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai, Harbin’s 10-million-strong population of which about four million live in the city, has taken a fancy to posters of Bollywood icons. It would not be wrong to say that the global phenomena of Bollywood mania has not even spared Harbin.
Shots of Sanjay Dutt a.k.a. Munnabhai M.B.B.S., Shahrukh Khan and Aishwariya Rai have appeared on the cover of a Chinese magazine and are easy to locate in the traditional and modern bazaars of Harbin,
“It’s the gyrating dance steps, glamorous dressing and melodious Hindi songs that fascinate and attract us to Hindi films,” says a magazine vendor in Harbin’s main market.
Kitty Kee, a housewife, says she likes to see pictures of sari-draped Indian women, and refers to “Aitwarya” (Aishwariya Rai) as her favourite.
Harbin’s infatuation with Bollywood is not only visible in the city’s markets, but can be heard in the mobile ring tones carried by young Chinese men and women.
“Chaiya-Chaiya from the Shahrukh starrer “Dil Se” or, even an old number like “Pardesia Yeh Sach Hai Piya”, the popular Lata Mangeshkar song from the 1979 Amitabh Bachchan-Rekha 1979 starrer “Mr. Natwarlal, are some of the favourite ring tones.
A young college student, who has set music director A.R. Rahman’s “Chaiya Chaiya” ring tone in his mobile, smiled and said “Please tell me the meaning of this song, its melodious.”
A girl student came up excitedly to this reporter and asked, “Do you have any new ring tones?
Harbin’s women are considered to be modern in terms of their dress sense, and are more passionate about Bollywood than men.
Indian films are not the only genre that fascinates Harbin folk, spicy and chatpata Indian food leaves them lip licking for more.
Munna Ghosh, a Bengali chef working at Harbin’s Shangrila Hotel, says the locals like his aloo paranthas and aloo poorie, and seeing this demand, the hotel’s management is planning to introduce an Indian menu soon.
Vegetable samosas have already made it to the vegetarian palate of the hotel. Therefore, before the big dream projects of mutual cooperation and mutual benefit are discussed, India already lives in the hearts and minds of the people of Harbin.
Harbin has most forms of entertainment and sporting locations. However western activities such as squash, swimming, or bowling are expensive by local standards. Most Chinese parties or celebrations are held in restaurants, which often have private rooms with karaoke. There is no shortage of movies to watch. All of the latest movies are available by buying or renting DVDs or VCDs. They are very cheap.
The average income in Harbin is about 700 RMB and the cost of living is lower than other cities. Therefore, most people earning 1,000 RMB consider it to be a good income. For food and basic shopping, a person can live comfortably on 1,000 RMB. (ANI)
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