chapter  5
12 Pages

The new Indian communities in China

WithPallavi Aiyar

As recently as the turn of the last century Indians were notable in China mainly for their absence amongst the crush of fortune-seeking foreigners desirous of hitching their stars to China’s rise. This is finally changing, and despite fluctuating highs and lows in the bilateral relationship, once absent Indian communities have begun to establish an exciting and diverse presence across the Chinese mainland. This chapter examines these new Indian communities and finds that they extend beyond white collar professionals, to yoga teachers, medical and engineering students, and cooks. China’s Indian communities are re-establishing the histories that have a lineage stretching almost two thousand years into the past, to the monks and scholars that played a pivotal role in introducing Buddhism to the erstwhile Middle Kingdom. These contemporary Indian communities are a dynamic, post-reform, and opening-up constellation of fortune seekers who see in China’s rise a horizon brimming with opportunities.