Singapore initiative aims to save India's Chinatown

Singapore initiative aims to save India's Chinatown

First-ever India Conversations aim to shine spotlight on Singapore initiative

When Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore visited Singapore in 1927 he stayed with the Namazies at their seaside bungalow in Siglap. The same M.A. Namazie who was to later build the iconic Capitol Theatre on Stamford Road.

And now, on Nov 6, Tagore's great-grandniece Sharmila Tagore will be at the stunningly refurbished Capitol Theatre to share fascinating anecdotes on the women of the Tagore household at the first India Conversations in Singapore.

Others coming from India to take part in the India Conversations are poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor-director Rahul Bose and Olympic shooting gold medallist Abhinav Bindra.

"The idea is to have entertainment that's also intelligent and relevant," says journalist-turned-entrepreneur Rinkoo Bhowmik. She conceived the India Conversations with Ms Malavika Banerjee, the person behind the hugely successful Kolkata Literary Meet.

The two are bringing this dazzling line-up of speakers to raise awareness around The Cha Project, a Singapore initiative that aims to save India's only surviving Chinatown in Kolkata.

Joining the speakers from India willbe Singapore residents, spoken word artist Nupur Saraswat, writer Nilanjana Sengupta and Straits Times sports journalist Rohit Brijnath.

The Cha Project (Cities • Heritage • Architecture), aims to rejuvenate Kolkata's Chinatown with Singapore-style food streets, cafes, a heritage centre and history trails.

"We're trying to save a two-and-a-half centuries old Chinese diasporic history and culture from being forgotten forever," said Mr Raj Sharma of The Cha Project.

India Conversations will also see the launch of Aruna Chakravarti's Daughters of Jorasanko, a sequel to Jorasanko.

The first book was a gripping semi-fictional family saga, that provided a fascinating glimpse into Jorasanko, the ancestral home of the Tagores and the lives of its women, and how they helped shape the modern women's movement in India.

The sequel will be launched by Paresh Maity, one of India's most respected modern artists.

India Conversations will be held on Nov 6 from 5 to 8.30pm at Capital Theatre, 11 Stamford Road. Tickets for the event are available online from Eventnook.

Read also:

Explore Chinatown in Kolkata 

Fading Chinese community remembers painful war past


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