Ties boost enthusiasm for learning Chinese in India

Many Indians now choose to learn Chinese to access a bigger pool of job opportunities in Chinese-funded enterprises as more and more Chinese companies have come to the country.

Many young Indians now choose to learn Chinese to access a bigger pool of job opportunities in Chinese-funded enterprises as more and more Chinese companies have come to the country to conduct business.

“After joining Air China, my life has undergone a huge change. No one at home had ever selected this kind of work before,” Heena Nakhwa told Xinhua.

Nakhwa, 26, is working for China’s national carrier Air China. Her Chinese name is Yi Na.

“Now I have become financially stable, more responsible. I have learnt a foreign language and have also encouraged my friends to learn. I won people’s respect and it makes my parents proud,” said the young lady.

In 2015, thanks to a successful application to a government scholarship program which made it easy to learn Chinese, Nakhwa went to China to study.

After returning home with the expertise in October 2016, she joined the sales team of the Air China BOM Office.

In less than two years, Nakhwa feels that learning Chinese was the turning point of her life.

“There are five people in my family. My parents retired four years ago. I now get paid 40,000 rupees (US$600) more than before. If you have a good income, naturally you can give your family a better life,” she said.

“In my free time, I also teach Chinese. Last year, two of my students passed the HSK3 level exam.”

Nakhwa’s experience is the epitome of a new trend of “Chinese fever” in India.

At the Indo Sino Bridge in the University of Mumbai, events are held regularly, showcasing Indians and Chinese singing, dancing, reading poetry and performing other stage arts together.

The popularity of the events gives a deep sense of a Chinese wind blowing.

“You could say India is now ‘in Chinese fever,’ because there is a big market. Many Chinese enterprises have come, and the future will bring more and more. Learning Chinese will give more opportunities,” Manu Arora from Gujarat Central University told Xinhua.

Professor Dibo Jie, or BR Deepak, from the Center of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of people learning Chinese in India.

“Chinese is one of the working languages of the United Nations, and is the most used language in the world, with the continued expansion of Chinese economic and political influence, prompting countries to learn Chinese, India is no exception,” he said.

In BR Deepak’s view, the primary reason for “Chinese fever” is the significant growth in trade between China and India, which has brought a lot of jobs.

A large number of Indian students and businessmen who go to China for studying or working want to master the basic everyday language before arriving there.

In addition, the development of tourism between the two countries has also stimulated the development of Chinese learning in India.

According to official figures from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, China’s trade with India reached a record high of US$84.4 billion in 2017, up 20.3 percent from the previous year.

China remains India’s largest trading partner.

Chinese companies have invested more than US$8 billion in real investment, and Indian companies have increased their investment in China by an average of 18.5 percent over the past three years.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, former chairman of the Observer Research Foundation (Mumbai), said China’s economic development has been successful and its model is particularly suitable for copying in India.

Special Reports