Rabindranath Tagore second most known figure in China

Rabindranath Tagore
New Delhi, May 29: The Chinese may have the highest regard for Buddha but apart from him, the Indian name best known to them is Rabindranath Tagore.

"In the background of over two millennia of China and India having been interconnecting, interacting, and learning from each other, the Nobel Laureate was closest to our times, real and intimate to us," says Wang Bangwei of Peking University.

"From Sakyamuni (as Buddha is referred to in China) we have enjoyed more of a reverent godliness, and from Tagore we have enjoyed a tangible humanness that was noble and admirable," writes Wang in "Tagore and China", arguably the first full account in English of the poet's visit to China and related issues.

Along with Wang, the book, published by Sage, is co-edited by Tan Chung, Amiya Dev and Wei Liming.

The book charts Tagore's ''grand visit'' in 1924 undertaken in response to China's ''Tagore fever'' and the series of talks he gave there, their antecedents as well as impact. During the visit, the Chinese celebrated Tagore's 63rd birthday and conferred him the Chinese name of ''Zhu Zhendan''.

"Tagore and China" is a collection of articles by eminent academics and scholars including the likes of Amartya Sen, Prasenjit Duara, Uma Das Gupta and Patricia Uberoi.

Supplemented by some rare photographs, it is a tribute to Tagore's 150th birth anniversary.


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