‘Most Chinese I Know Love India & Indian People’
Laila, a Chinese girl working in Bengaluru since 2018, says despite border tension and Covid-19 surge, she never felt unsafe in India. She finds Indian people warm and welcoming
As a Chinese staying in India, I get overwhelmed, even a bit annoyed, by the sudden concern I am getting every day from my family and friends, sometimes even strangers and media reporters, thanks to the military standoff and tensions at Ladakh border since May.
There were always inquiries from my family and friends in China about my wellbeing. But with the current Covid-19 surge coupled with India-China border tensions, the queries have grown manifold. Every time I post a picture of my travel in India on social media, a flurry of comments pops up: “Are you in India alone? Is it safe?”
Questions usually include Covid-19 situation, essential supplies, and anti-China sentiment in India. I was even approached by media reporters who kept asking whether I have experienced discrimination.
I came here in 2018 to work with a Chinese company based in Bangalore, and I fell in love with this country as soon as I landed: I still remember when the cab took me from the airport to my hotel, the driver didn’t take the expressway but took me through interior roads. That made me see colourful houses along the bumpy road, and my heart was singing.
Since then I have made so many good friends in India — across the country — who made my life anything but lonely here. They are funny, brilliant and much braver than I had imagined before I came here. As far as I know, most of Chinese love India and Indian people, as it has such a rich culture and beautiful landscapes.
In the last two years, Bangalore has become a home away from home. It is a beautiful, relaxing and a friendly place compared to Beijing where I used to work before 2018. Even amid this pandemic and border tension, I don’t actually feel concerned or unsafe.
I have heard once in a store that people say the word Corona while seeing me. Also, one of my friends was not allowed to check-in to a hotel while he was travelling. Besides these two isolated incidents, our experiences here are beyond wonderful. We consider these incidents were triggered by ignorance rather than with an intention to create a hostile environment for Chinese.
That said, there are some people who might be hating Chinese in India. We were lucky to not be consumed by their hatred. I would consider most of Indian people as friendly and welcoming.
Like all my Indian friends who are in their late 20s and 30s, I am actually more troubled by Covid-19 curbs than border tension. Only because of this issue, I once thought of going back when I had a chance to board the flights back to China in June. If only I can roam around in India freely in the present scenario, then I would never think of going back.
I also know I will start to miss India as soon as I go back. All I wish is the pandemic gets over and the tension between two countries gets sorted soon. And I know there are thousands of Chinese wishing the same as me.