Creating a New Cultural Identity

India-related Religious Practices among the Chinese Community in Kolkata. A Paper written by Zhang Xing (Department of Oriental Languages and Cultures, Foreign Language Building Peking University, Beijing 100871, P.R. China.)


Already in the nineteenth century, the Chinese immigrants had built several Chinese temples in Kolkata. These temples, including those dedicated to Tianhou and Guanyin, served not only as religious shrines but also meeting places for the community. This article outlines some of the unique, and hitherto unexamined, religious practices among the Kolkata Chinese. Specifically, it focuses on the venerations of the Atchew, perceived to be the first Chinese immigrant in India, the medium known as Lady Shou and the Indian Goddess Kali. While other religious beliefs among the Kolkata Chinese indicate the preservation of Chinese heritage and identity, these unique practices show the process of acculturation and the creation of a new mixed, Chinese–Indian identity.

source: http://chr.sagepub.com/content/45/1/53.abstract