Predicting that there will soon be more readers of Rabindranath Tagore in China than in India, Chinese Consul General Ma Zhanwu has said values of the bard can show the path to the new relationship between the two neighbouring countries. “Tagore’s idea on China-India relationship could serve as useful guide as we work to deepen mutual trust, enhance friendship and develop bilateral exchanges and cooperation,” Zhanwu said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said Tagore believed in Asian resurgence at a time when the West was dominant and Asians were looked down upon.”Tagore was the first Asian to be awarded the Nobel Prize in 1913. He gave us the courage that our message could also be useful and valid for the rest of the world,” the diplomat told PTI. It was for the first time yesterday that the Chinese consulate had celebrated Tagore’s 155th birth anniversary in a big way with a conference on the bard’s relationship with China where he had gone in 1924.According to the English calendar, Tagore was born on May 7 but Bengalis celebrate the occasion according to the Bengali calendar – 25th day of ‘Baisakh’ month which is today.The consul general said Tagore has a huge following in Asia, but nowhere is he more alive than in China, where his works have been part of middle-school curriculum for decades.”We will soon have more Tagore readers in China than you have in India,” he said, adding that there may already be more Yoga teachers in China than India. He cites the example of her 14-year-old daughter Yuning Ma, who started reciting Tagore poems when she was nine. “She does it in a very emotional way and in both Chinese and English languages,” Zhanwu said.On Tagore’s philosophy, he said the Nobel laureate envisioned and advocated India-China fraternal partnership and civilisational leadership, which is increasingly pertinent with the rise of both the countries as important nations in the world and when mankind needs more contribution by the two neighbours. Tagore’s idea was that Asia must find its own voice to build an Asian synergy, he said. “We have our own ways of doing things and it may suit us better than if we just copy things from the West,” the diplomat said.Professor Liu Shuxiong of Peking University said Bengali is taught in various universities of China and they have plans to take more students in the language, which he describes as being very important to study India and Tagore. China has translated a number of poems, essays and dramas written by Tagore. “Tagore’s values are very much shared by the people of the two countries. Tagore was very much inspired by Chinese philosophy,” Zhanwu said.
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