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Talk on Sino-Indian Cultural Diffusion through Trade in the Nineteenth Century

November 14, 2016

Talk on Sino-Indian Cultural Diffusion through Trade in the Nineteenth Century
By Prof. Madhavi Thampi
Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, and Editor of the journal China Report.

Chair and Moderator
Amb. C V Ranganathan
Former Ambassador of India to China

Organized by Bangalore International Centre (A TERI Initiative)

talk-on-sino-indian-cultural-diffusion-through-trade-in-the-nineteenth-century-at-bangalore-international-centreAbout the talk
Trade has been a powerful medium for the exchange of cultural influences across different societies and regions throughout history. The flourishing trade between India and China in the nineteenth century, however, has not until recently received much attention as a vehicle for the exchange of cultural values between the two countries. While there exists a considerable amount of literature on the collections of China Trade art in the West, the truth is that ‘export art’ from China was valued not just in the West but was also imported by Parsi and other Indian merchants who flocked to China’s shores, for an appreciative clientele back home. Moreover, the Indian demand for Chinese art in this period did not merely ape Western tastes, but also reflected Indian tastes and values. Chinese artists and their famous workshops in the port of Canton (Guangzhou) became experts at producing art and cultural products catering to the tastes of Indian customers, just as they did for Western customers. As the popularity of these products from China grew in India, Indian artists and craftsmen themselves mastered the art forms and skills required, and further developed them in keeping with their particular genius. We see this most clearly in the case of embroidery, textile weaving and reverse glass painting. Ultimately, we can say that this process resulted in some altogether new, hybrid forms of art and crafts in India, which, while they were undoubtedly Chinese in origin and inspiration, nevertheless have become an enduring part of the Indian cultural tradition.

About Ms. Madhavi Thampi
Madhavi Thampi is Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, and Editor of the journal China Report. She taught Chinese History for many years at the Department of East Asian Studies of the University of Delhi until 2014. Her major publications include Indians in China, 1800-1949 (2005) and China and the Making of Bombay (2010). She also edited the volume India and China in the Colonial World (2005). She is currently working jointly with other Indian and foreign scholars on a multi-volume project on the relations between India and early twentieth century China, and has been coordinating an effort to catalogue materials related to modern China in the National Archives of India.

About Amb. C V Ranganathan
After graduating from Madras University with a B.A. (honours) in Economics, C.V. Ranganathan joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1959. He has a diploma (with distinction) in Chinese language and literature from the University of Hongkong. He has served in the Ministry of External Affairs and in diplomatic Missions in Beijing, New York, Bonn. His senior posts have been as Commissioner, Hongkong, Ambassador, Addis Ababa, Deputy Chief Of Mission in the rank of Ambassador, Moscow, Ambassador, Beijing and Ambassador, Paris. He retired in 1993. He is an awardee of the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship. He was appointed by successive Prime Ministers as Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board and as Co-Chairman of the India-China Eminent Persons’ Group. He has coauthored with Ambassador V.C.Khanna , “India and China-The Way Ahead”, and edited, “Panchsheel and After.” He is an Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the China Study Centre, IIT(Madras), and Member Executive Committee of the Chennai Centre of China Studies.

Talk on Friday | 18th November 2016 | 6.30 PM

Venue:
Auditorium,
Bangalore International Centre
TERI Complex,
4th Main, 2nd Cross,
Domlur II Stage,
Bangalore – 560 071.

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