India's disappearing Chinese community

India’s disappearing Chinese community

This Article First Appeared In The BBC On May 13, 2023.

When Janice Lee went on holiday to China, she found that she couldn’t wait for it to end. “I couldn’t speak the language, I didn’t like the food and I felt very lost,” she recalled.

Not being able to fit into a foreign culture may not sound that strange – except that Lee is of Chinese origin herself. When she told me, “I felt at ease only when I finally got back”, she was referring to her home in Kolkata. Lee is a fifth-generation Indian Chinese of Hakka origin, and works at Pou Chong Foods, a business started by her grandfather in 1958 to supply Chinese sauces and noodles to other Chinese residents.

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