Across China: Power of music draws Chinese, Indians closer

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-25 10:54:23|Editor: zh
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SHANGHAI, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- After the ancient practice of yoga and current Bollywood blockbusters opened a window for Chinese to learn about India, music is now helping build a closer relationship between the two peoples.

At a small concert held in the last weekend in Shanghai, more than 40 guests enjoyed music played on classical Indian instruments, such as the sarod, a stringed instrument, and the pakhawaj, a barrel-shaped, two-headed drum.

"It's such a unique experience to view the performance so closely. The music is very beautiful and interesting. I look forward to more events like this coming in China," said Zhu Min, an audience member. "I also like Indian movies, and I have always wanted to visit the country."

Contemporary Bollywood films including "Three Idiots" and "Dangal" have won a great number of Chinese fans in recent years, while yoga, as well as Indian food, have attracted attention in China.

Since 2014 the Chaiti Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization, has invited more than 50 Indian musicians to perform at more than 20 concerts and workshops in Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing.

Focused on classical Indian music, the performances have attracted thousands of Chinese.

"China and India are gold mines of arts and culture. It is essential to allow a role for arts and culture to play in creating community cohesion and instilling mutual respect," said Siddharth Sinha, one of the founders of Chaiti Arts Foundation. "Both India and China have so much in common. I believe that the efforts to promote cultural communication mutually will help enhance people-to-people communication and facilitate broader cooperation."

The foundation plans to invite more Indian artists to visit China and take part in international music festivals and cultural activities in the second half of this year.

Rishabh Dhar, a pakhawaj player, first visited China in April. He was impressed by the Chinese students who attended lectures he gave and his cooperation with Chinese musicians.

"Chinese people are so warm. They appreciate new things, new culture, that is very heartwarming," he said.

This concert held in Shanghai was the second time he has visited China.

Dhar is looking forward to participating in an international music festival to be held in Shanghai in September, when he will perform with a Chinese pipa player. The pipa is a stringed Chinese musical instrument.

He said he's eagerly anticipating more cooperation with Chinese musicians. "The more we come across this, the more interactive it will be."

"We believe that arts and culture have the power and ability to bring people together that transcend boundaries of hearts and minds," said Sinha, adding more activities are planned to bring more Indian artists to China for cultural exchanges.