India, I am coming…

Issued in The Hindu, November 13, 2012

By Jackie Sun

After enrolling, registering and applying for passport and visa, I am looking forward to boarding the flight from Beijing to New Delhi with other members of the 100-strong Chinese Youth Delegation to India. I can’t wait to start the probing trip to that mysterious country.

According to my knowledge, India is a combination of ancient and modern. In “Slumdog Millionaire”, it is symbolized by Taj Mahal which represents pure love. In “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century”, it is impressive due to high-tech gardens in Bangalore. In social news headline, it is attractive because of the entrepreneur who spent billions of dollars for a luxurious villa. In tourists’ blog, it is peculiar as people could be seen hanging outside moving trains despite the danger of losing their lives. It has a long beach line attracting tourists from around the world, while its streets are teeming with people and animals, especially the sacred bull. It is famous for the pungent aroma of curry and the fascinating fragrance of red tea. If only I could set foot on the soil of all-embracing India!

Most of my friends and colleagues haven’t had the chance to visit India. They learn from books and media that India is a big neighbour of China. It is a member of BRICS and enjoys similar rapid economic growth with China.

It is famous for information technology, service and pharmaceutical industry and Bollywood films. Given the chance, they would like very much to visit India. However, India is not a common destination of Chinese tourists. Among more than 70 million Chinese people going abroad every year, only tens of thousands would choose India as their first destination. It is really precious to have the opportunity to experience India.

I search the internet for more information about India before my trip, wanting to know how China and Chinese people look like in Indian people’s eyes. I am amazed to find that most of the Indian people are friendly to China. The concept of “CHINDIA” is thoroughly interpreted by Jairam Ramesh in his book “Making sense of CHINDIA: Reflections on China and India”.

Indian media are paying a lot of attention to economic and social development of China, analysing China’s policy of reform and opening-up, and discussing what experiences could India learn from China’s road of development. China’s development is thought to be an opportunity to India. Unfortunately, I also notice certain prejudice against China, especially when the 1962 war is mentioned.

With more than 2,000 years of cultural exchanges, the bond of friendship is stronger than ever between China and India. At present, both countries are facing the golden period of realizing development and prosperity. Contacts between the two peoples are closer and closer.

I am confident that more and more people, especially the young generation, will look at each other with broader mind and more forward-looking sight.

Estrangement caused by the short unhappy episode will certainly fade away with the passing of time. When we look back, the most cherishable legacy between China and India will be true friendship. I am looking forward to making Indian friends during the coming trip.

India, I am coming…

(Jackie Sun is a member of 100-strong Chinese youth delegation visiting India for a week from today.)

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