KOLKATA (Taiwan News) -- On Thursday, Taiwan News visited the Indian city of Kolkata, also called the "City of Joy," a name given by French author Dominique Lapierre.
Taiwan News met with the secretary of the Indian Chinese Association (ICA), which is the largest active Chinese community association operating in India, to find out about the ICA and how they manage to keep the community and its shrinking population involved in celebrations and activities all year round.
Robert Hsu (許家安), the secretary and spokesperson for the ICA, accompanied by his colleague Thomas Chen (陳永康), sat with us for an exclusive interview and spoke to Taiwan News about the association, its key members and how they work around the year to make sure India's largest Chinese community stays active and that members work together to maintain the presence of Chinese culture in India.
"We started in the year 1999 and have since actively organized all the cultural events to keep the community closely knitted and engaged. We don't have much population left in the city as most of the families have moved out to countries like Australia, Canada and Taiwan. But nothing divides our attention or our motivation, which is to keep the Chinese culture alive among its remaining people," said Robert Hsu.
The Indian Chinese Association organizes four major events a year which include, the Dragon Boat Festival (端午節), the Moon Festival (中秋節), Elder's Day (重陽節) and the Lunar New Year Annual Dragon Show (春節) every year.
"We organize the events because these are the major holidays in the Chinese calendar and we want to help the local community to stay as close to their culture as possible. We are blessed to be living in a city like Kolkata where people are so understanding and welcoming. Our Indian neighbors are always up to help, and are always excited to participate in one of our programs, especially for the Dragon show and the Dragon Boat Festival," continued Robert.
Here are some glimpses of ICA's activities for this year's Lunar New Year Dragon Show Festival:
(Image credit: Subhadip Mukherjee)