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Cantonese in Calcutta

While i was googling, i stumble upon a beautiful post by one of the cantonese from hong kong in search of cantonese in calcutta back in the year 2007.

In Search of Cantonese Calcutta: Part One
The Mystery of Calcutta’s Lost Chinatown: Part 2

Comments

  1. Esther says:

    Being a Cantonese previously from Calcutta, I find the write-up extremely well written – with very high standard of literary and analytical skills – on the present decayed conditons of old Chinatown and its vicinity. It is worth the reading and informative.

    I wonder how many Cantonese still reman in old Chinatown in Tiretti Bazaar, once a bustling centre renown for its Chinese grocery shops, restaurants, tea/cafe shops, medicinal/herbal shops, jewellery, laundry, dentistry, shoes making, carpentry, schools, temples, clan associations…….and with scores of Chinese children, youth and the old running and hanging around in the streets. I believe this scene is only history.

    Is there any guestimate on the count of Chinese still living in Old Chinatown in Tiretti Bazaar ? Any knows…..

  2. christopher says:

    Hi Ester, I was from that locality, now migrated with my parents and unccle to Sweden, cousin still lives in Tiretti bazaar Locally known as Chinna Para, now hardly you can find any chinna during the day, Only during the morning market you can find some chinna in titerri bazaar.
    In our hay days we used to hang around till 1am (night)in the gully, chatting with friends. sometimes even playing Football and cricket on the road and going in a big group on motorcycle to dhaba in russel street for tea. I wish those moment can be relived again. Those are the most amazing moment of my life. My guess, there are hardly 1000 chinese left now.
    I heard most of the shops are in bad shape especially the one in bentinct street. Only few are running well.
    I have also heard there is a new restaurant came up in the crossing of chattawalla gully which used to sell chinese paper craft like lantern and other paper stuff used for worship. May be somebody can verify it?
    The clubs are trying to revive the culture there. I hope they will be successful with most still want to migrate.

  3. Eric says:

    I just returned from a trip to Kolkata and other Indian cities. I too left Calcutta many years ago but have been back 3 times. As I wrote in my previous blog, I found the morning market to be very vibrant every morning from 7 am to around 11 am. everyday. You can buy siu mai, steamed buns, roast pork, dal puri, fresh meats, chickens, etc. Also, in that area called Cheena Para, there is the See Yup Wui Koon and closeby, there are several other Wui Koon’s where people gather to play cards or mahjong to spend their time over many sips of chinese tea. There is one store which even sells the pou chook (candles) for buddhist offerings and incense.
    There is still evidence of chinese people around this chinatown but fewer in numbers. Many of them seem to have inter-married with either Bengalis or Nepalese. There are still 2 chinese restaurants (Tung Nam and another one) in this part of town. There are however many, many chinese restaurants in Tangra or Dhapa. With the relocation of the tanneries, the people started up successful restaurant businesses which are quite popular with the indian folk. I even saw roadside stalls around the Dalhousie Square and Chadney Chowk offering a plate of chow mein for cheap.
    There is another restaurant in Temple Street called Chin Wah owned by the Wong family. Waldorf on Park Street is now Marco Polo and I believe they relocated Waldorf to another street closeby. Flury’s, Mocambo, Trincas, Kwality and Magnolia restaurants are stil in business. So is the famous Jewish bakery Nahoum’s in New Market. Nice cakes and cheese straws can be obtained still. D’Gamas and Wyse are no longer in business. Hope that answers some questions for you all. Cheers!

  4. stephen says:

    Hi, Eric the other one is Dley i guess. 20 years back there were around 12 eateries.