to brush up your Chinese? Join the club
By Sreya Basu
Kolkata, Jan 27 (IANS) "Ni hao!" If you have studied
Chinese earlier and these words don't ring a bell, then "Hello",
join the 'Chini Adda' club here to brush up your knowledge
Indians who learn Chinese often forget the language due to
lack of practice. To solve this problem, a Chinese speaking
club has been formed with the assistance of the Chinese consulate
The Chini Adda, or the Chinese corner, is the brainchild of
Madan Saraf, founder of the School of Chinese Language here.
Saraf hopes the club will not only provide a platform for
speaking in Chinese, but also further Sino-Indian cultural
"I met some Indians in Kolkata who have spent 3-5 years
to learn Chinese long back. But now they have completely forgotten
the language due to lack of practice," Saraf told IANS.
"As a solution, we decided to form a Chinese club or
corner, Chini Adda, in Kolkata, where all Chinese-speaking
people can come together and interact in Chinese. The Chinese
consulate is also helping us with the project. This is the
first of its kind not only in Kolkata but in India,"
Native Chinese speakers will attend the club sessions to help
Indians with pronunciation.
"Anyone from any part of India or world can join this
club; the only criteria is that whatever you discuss, you
have to speak Chinese. This way, the language part will be
taken care of," Saraf said.
"And as a bonus, there will be a cultural exchange between
Indians and Chinese."
Saraf said to start with, the club members will meet once
Initially, there will be no fixed place for the get-togethers.
"It's often seen that people start feeling uncomfortable
if they are put inside a room and asked to interact with strangers.
Hence we have decided to keep the first few sessions at public
places like restaurants or parks, like the language clubs
in China and Germany."
Later, Saraf said, a proper club will be set up.
"We have already talked to both the central and state
governments, asking them to provide a good place for our club."
For the time being there will be no membership fee either.
The Chinese language school and the consulate will bear the
"But later, we may have to impose a minimal fee of say
Rs.200 a month," Saraf said.
The first session of the 'adda' was held Friday at a restaurant
at Kolkata's Chinatown. About 30 people from different Chinese
language schools, universities, as well as native Chinese,
(Sreya Basu can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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