India's Oldest Chinatown

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Calcutta boasts the oldest Chinatown in the world outside the sphere of Chinese cultural influence in Southeast Asia. The Chinese community from several villages in South China started arriving and settling in Calcutta, a thriving colonial capital, since the late 1770s. Soon they started calling the city home, with only formal ties with their original homeland. The Chinese in Calcutta excelled as artisans and later, as restaurateurs, and built Taoist temples in their settlement in Tiretta Bazar. A thriving Chinatown thus came up in the center of the city, adding to the ethnic and cultural diversity to Calcutta. In this virtual experience, we will explore what remains of this Old Chinatown of Kolkata. We will visit 5 Chinese temples, learn about the Chinese culture and traditions unique to the Kolkata Chinese, and explore their connections with the Indian freedom movement as well as the Chinese revolution of 1911-12.

You can also join this program via the mobile app.

Tathagata Neogi




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