Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Taste of Yunnan

KOLKATA ,Wednesday , March 4 , 2015 , page 2

Shutterbugs Give Kolkata A Taste of Yunnan

Yunnan province of southwest China came alive at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture as a photography exhibition by six city shutterbugs was inaugurated by Chinese Consul General Wang Xuefeng on Tuesday . The photographers were invited to Yunnan to experience and showcase the Chinese charm.

The Consul General was eloquent on the close Kolkata-China link. “I often go to Chinatown to savour delicacies from so many oriental restaurants. I hope with this exhibition Kolkata and China will come even closer,“ he told TOI.Asked on the Kolkata-Kunming connectivity , he said: “The route is crucial to Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor.The connectivity for transportation is a priority as we are keen to enhance the exchange of products in the region."

On tourism prospects, Xuefeng said: “2105 has been marked as the `India Tourism Year' in China while the next year will be `China Tourism Year' in India, as agreed upon by the two Prime Ministers during their recent meeting. Last month, I met several tourists who were enthused about the Buddhist trail, the Chinese know India is the seat of Buddhism.“

The eastern region of India is very close to the Chinese, said Xuefeng. “Kunming is less than 2.5 hours from Kolkata and we encourage Chinese tourists to visit Bengal and Bodh Gaya. We are also introducing special drives to boost tourism. This photo exhibition too is a two-way exchange.“

Rabindranath Tagore is yet another strong draw to Bengal, according to the Consul General.“Tagore is even in Chinese text books. And to us, Kolkata is a city of culture, joy and friends,“ he smiled. He further wished Kolkata ahead of the festival of colours.“We are just into the Chinese New Year and very happy with so many activities in the city to celebrate the occasion. And we are just a few days away from Holi. I extend all out best wishes to all of India.“

Mala Mukherjee, who was among the six photographers to visit Yunnan, gushed about her time in the province: “The trip was a culinary dream for us. There were about 25 dishes for dinner every night. And of all the photos we took, only about 10% are exhibited. I'm looking forward to a bigger exhibition where more can be viewed.“ In all, there were about 200 photos on display . The exhibition will continue till Sunday .

While Shankar Mondal, whose 37 photos were on display , fondly recollected the 10 days they spent in Yunnan, Samarendranath Mandal, a doctor by profession who has clicked 63 of the photos on show, said for him, the most interesting places were the old markets of Liziang and Dali.

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