Chinese turn to Ramayana to learn Hindi – Chitra Unnithan

Peking UniversityAHMEDABAD: Students at universities in China are getting lessons on human values from the great Hindu epic – Ramayana.

Wise sayings from Valmiki’s text are being adapted by the universities teaching Hindi in China and are being made relevant to the current world situations. At least six leading universities in China including the prestigious Peking University, the Beijing Foreign Studies University as well as colleges in different parts of China are teaching Hindi, which has become a popular foreign language in China.

“We are taught verses from Ramayana as part of literature classes at the university,” said Eric Huidram, a student-turned Chinese translator and interpreter from Manipur.

RamayanaSeveral universities in the US have included reading the Ramayana as part of comparative humanities and literature sessions on Asia.

It was through the efforts of Chinese indologist Ji Xianlin that many Chinese learnt the language of Sanskrit and the epic Ramayana. Ji, who founded the Department of Eastern Languages at Peking University, translated Ramayana from the original Sanskrit to Chinese in poetry form. Ji’s translated work of Ramayana and Mahabharata will be displayed at the culture park being planned at Kailash Mansarovar by India China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC).

Mount Kailas & Mansarovar Lake“The Chinese version of Ramayana will be kept in a library at the park for visitors and researchers to read. We will also run it in the in-house television at the culture park,” said Jagat Shah, convenor, Kailash Mansarovar Cultural Park and chairman, ICEC-Gujarat. The project is being handled by Shah from his office in Ahmedabad.

Besides a library, the cultural park will have a museum, a research lab for studying the geographic impacts and the changes that have occurred in Kailash Mansarovar over a period of time, a language centre to learn about and share different cultures and religions and an information centre.

At a recent summit to discuss about logistics of the park, ICEC also invited people who have already visited Kailash Mansarovar to understand the journey from the pilgrims’ point of view. – Times of India, 26 October 2012

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2 Responses

  1. @IS I agree that building the airport poses the many dangers that you have outlined. While vibrant Gujarat is what we all want, this particular project by a Gujarati(Canadian) is going to be a mixed blessing. Let us hope that Hindus inside India also will raise serious questions about it.


  2. Until recently, Mount Kailas was inaccessible to Chinese military vehicles because of the rough terrain. Pilgrims were dropped off some distance away and had to walk in. The circumambulation of the holy mountain took three days and pilgrims then had to walk out to the road to get transport to the nearest town.

    Building an airport near Mount Kailas Mansarovar Lake will be a disaster both ecologically and spiritually. It will also give the Chinese military access to a place where they should not be. Perhaps Jagat Shah, the Gujarati Canadian businessman behind the project, will have a re-think and not go ahead with his airport plan as it is likely to destroy Hinduism’s most sacred site. He should consider Hindu feelings in the matter.


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