Deep Down in Chinatown

Radio talk show host, blogger and heritage enthusiast Deepanjan Ghosh (Deep) will take walkers on a fascinating discovery of Kolkata’s Old Chinatown. As the walk is on Chinese New Year, walkers will first be treated to a ringside view of the feisty Dragon Dance that has traditionally ushered in the celebrations in Chinatown. The walk will then meander through the alleys and bylanes of Cheenapara for a captivating glimpse into tucked away Chinese temples and social clubs revealing a unique way of life of a diasporic settlement that’s over two-and-a-half centuries old.

Kolkata Chinatown is unique. Unlike Chinatowns in the rest of the world—with bright neon signboards, string lanterns, giant gates and upturned eaves—Cheenapara is, on the outside, unremarkable and nondescript. However, inside of the temples it’s a different story, reflecting the cultural identity of the Indian Chinese community, with gilded shrines and ornate carvings depicting war narratives of imperial dynasties and gods. It is a riveting look into a living heritage. The walk will end with Chinese roadside vendors selling steaming hot dumplings.

This guided tour is free.

 


Deepanjan Ghosh
Walk Leader
Deepanjan Ghosh is a broadcast professional from Kolkata with his own, very popular, show on Radio Mirchi. A history buff, a landscape and architecture photographer and blogger, he has been writing about Kolkata since 2013 and hopes to release a book on Kolkata’s history soon.