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By Our Correspondent: Amidst border tensions at Doklam and Arunachal Pradesh and high voltage diplomatic drama between two of the emerging economic powers of the world-China and India, Kolkata in eastern India on Tuesday threw open India’s first ‘Confucius Classroom’, courtesy Consulate General of People's Republic of China in Kolkata, Yunnan Normal University, Kunning, China and The School of Chinese Language Kolkata. The Confucius Classroom, approved by the Chinese government, will provide authentic Mandarin teaching to students of leading high schools, colleges and universities with a select group of 10-15 faculties being flown in from China. “The initiative aims at adding a micro-drop of understanding to the ocean of friendship, which lies between the people of India and China through language and understanding. The classroom will not only teach how to read, write, speak mandarin but make people aware of the Chinese way of life. Initiative like this helps in strengthening people-to-people bond,” said Ma Zhanwu, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kolkata. “Confucius is one of the most well known and influential of Chinese philosophers. Confucius is the way of life, people of China do not follow any religion, they just follow a way of life as part of their culture. So we are trying to promote not just only the language but also the culture, literature, their dance and music forms, geography and other aspects of life in China. All these would certainly help in developing people-to-people contact between the two countries,” said Charishma Saraff, principal, The School of Chinese Language Kolkata.
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