Watch: When Kolkata’s Durga Puja pandal met Chinese diplomacy

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Updated: October 16, 2018 5:27:32 PM

The Chinese diplomat left the audience in awe as he moved across the stage in flowing dance-like martial arts motions. The video of Ma's 'tai chi' went viral on social media.

Chinese diplomat Ma Zhanwu left the audience in awe as he moved across the stage in flowing dance-like martial arts motions. (Source: Chinese Consulate Kolkata)

In an unusual move of diplomacy that has gained the diplomat instant popularity in India and on social media, China’s Consul General in Kolkata performed an impromptu ‘tai chi’ at a programme to mark Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata.

The crowd gathering in the pandal witnessed the amazing feat of ‘cultural diplomacy’, as South China Morning Post has termed it, by Consul General Ma Zhanwu when he suddenly sprang to his feet, took off his formal coat and broke into a stunning 20-minute ‘tai chi’ performance as his wife played the pipa – a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, much like Sitar.

The diplomat left the audience in awe as he moved across the stage in flowing dance-like martial arts motions. The video of Ma’s ‘tai chi’ went viral on social media. It has received more than 7,000 views since it was posted on Twitter and over 3,000 views on Facebook.

But what made a diplomat perform at a public gathering? Well, according to reports, the Chinese consulate was partnering a pandal, which West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was to inaugurate. Tripathi arrived one hour late for the inauguration of the programme to mark the beginning of community Durga Puja. The crowd had gathered in Kolkata’s Salt Lake area for Durga Puja celebrations and was getting restless because of the delay. It was then the Consul General and his wife immediately responded to the need of the moment and enchanted the audience with their performances. It was a big bonanza for the jubilant people, already in a festive mood. They cheered and lauded the unique style of diplomacy, displayed by the Chinese diplomat and his wife.

The Durga Puja festivities came equally to Ma. After his impromptu performance, he said, Durga Puja is a great event, a great festival and a great cultural and social event for all of us to celebrate and enjoy, adding they were very happy to participate in the event.

The move by the Chinese diplomat came barely days after fresh reports of Chinese incursion. According to reports, Chinese troops crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the first week of October in the Arunachal Sector. The troops, however, returned after the Indian Army informed them that they are on the Indian side of the LAC.

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