The Legend Of Fat Mama Video

The Legend Of Fat Mama (23 min)

West Bengal/India, 2005, Directed by Rafeeq Ellias.

short review:

This is a bittersweet story of the Chinese community in Calcutta intertwined with the nostalgic journey in search of a woman who once made the most delicious noodles in the kolkata city’s Chinatown district. Thriving street food, disappearing family-run eateries, mahjong clubs, a Chinese printing press that has shut down and its handwritten counterpart that continues to deliver the news every morning, and the first all-woman dragon dance group preparing for the Chinese New Year make up the Chinese heritage in Calcutta.

here u go ๐Ÿ˜› . enjoy


  1. Thien says:

    ennnjjjoooyyy lol

  2. Gloria says:


    Appreciate your great efforts putting up the Legend of Fat Mama video in this blog so that all Indian Chinese, no matter where they currently reside, can reminiscent of the past through people interviewed on the screen. In fact, there were two people that I know of, notably Stella Chen.

    I had long wanted to see this video when it was shown live on BBC channel, but missed it somehow. So, this is a good repeat of it with some nostalgic feelings.

    I sincerely hope the Indian Chinese community will stay stronger, tougher but happier despite of obstacles, big and small, put upon them by the mainstream.

    I look forward to more video or picture postings on the old Chinatown in Tiretta Bazaar as shown in above video and vividly put into short stories by Kwai-Yun Li.

    Keep up your good work. Cheers.

  3. Kim says:

    The above video truly reflects the inner feelings of most Indian Chinese who have either migrated to foreign shores or chose to stay put.
    Kudos to Rafeeq Ellias for his research and cutting this documentary in perspective of the anxiety and frustration of many hurting people. The name sake of Fat Mama is a good topic used to dilute the grave survival of the marginalized minority of Kolkata Chinese – to get their sufferings and experiences divulged in the big screen.
    My father, who have passed away many years ago, was a loyal fan of Fat Mama on her Hakka delicacy “Ham Choy Chow Sui Chow Sain Kong” – really yummy.
    Should a new documentary be in the making – which I crave for one to be made soon by Rafeeq Ellias or anyone else – I hope there would be better ties between the Indian Chinese and the mainstream. There would not be any more war nor injustice of detention at concentration camp in Deoli, Rajasthan. Hopefully, happy ever after, Indian Chinese can stay at ease and con-exist peacefully with mainstream on their economic lives in the city of their birth.

  4. ying says:


    Thanks alot for uploading the vdeo.Enjoyyyyyy it.Hopefully things will get better.Enjoy the chinese new year.

  5. leon says:

    thanks for taking the trouble to upload it .. i know it’s a pain in arse with such big files and all the converting of files format … keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. michelle says:

    thanks a lot for that video. I also really hope that in near future we can also see some video documentary on our indian hakka traditions inorder for our new generation to learn and keep it alive (like the chinese new year/marriage etc. etc. traditional customs). Also, I wonder if fat mama has any family members?

  7. David says:

    Hi Michelle,

    After “the legend of Fat Mama” was broadcast in air, I heard a follow-up news on her story.

    Fat Mama had two sons. After she died, both refused to take up her street food business – even though there was a hugh demand of the yummy food with a long list of daily returnees of fans and clientele.

    Fat Mama food stall business was eventually terminated and one of her sons left India to work in the Middle East.

    Quite an abrupt and sad ending. For those who have once patronized her food, they can now draw the taste of her food sample only in dreams as no one can replace or replicate her food elsewhere.

    1. leon says:

      aww… thats bad .. i didnt know about it .. how long ago was this legend ?

  8. Banasree Mandal says:

    thanks a lot Thien…. i was in search for this one…… wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous new year…… njoy…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. saxo says:

    are there any more documentary on hakka people in dhapa?? it would be great to share then here

  10. bee says:

    the documantary do not say anything about the acheivemant of indian chinese community. inspite of being a very smaill in number and having no polical protection or claut what so ever thise community thrived in pre or post 1962 india. for instance we have the largest number of qualified denttist registered in india community wise, we have some super qualifed person like dr wu a neurosergoun in practicing in suliguri heart specilist and genicologist. We have people in hi posirtion on company like IOC. andofcourse in bussinesses. we have celibraty in Maiyang chen and the list gose on.

  11. Mark says:

    to: bee & richard hsu

    having left Kolkata nearly 4 decades ago, it’s nice to hear about high accomplishments from Indian Chinese who excel with extraordinary achievements in different fields in India.

    these high flyers with their contributions make not only Indian Chinese proud, but also India proud. they truly deserve our salute and applause for making a BIG difference by a small minority community.

    i hope an hounour roll/list can be compiled here to show our appreciation for their greatness.

  12. Nat Gupta says:

    I amn’t ethnic East Asian and i have just learnt about this community that is a part of our India.

    You add to the multi-cultural heritage of this country!

    And btw, this documentary is wonderful, its finally nice to see the place i have been reading about for so long…hopefully some day i might visit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Anil Jogani says:

    This was nostalgic! Thank you for doing the documentary.
    I spent my early childhood in Calcutta and had three very good Chinese friends. These ‘Indian people of Chinese origin’ are a very nice, hard working community and contribute a lot to the society. I hope the local government recognises their contribution and gives them their due and rightful place in society. I can only say this to them – please stay on and continue your good work!