For students of Chinese language at Delhi University, the ongoing Delhi Book Fair at Pragati Maidan here has proved to be quite productive as they nearly cleaned out the lone Chinese book stall.

Sonal Singhal, enrolled in a part-time three-year Chinese language course at St. Stephen’s College, said she missed out on many books as they were already sold-out. She said some first-year students managed to grab a copy of a few books such as Chinese Ceramics, Chinese Civilization and China Folk Art. “Since Chinese is a difficult language to master, junior students at my college will definitely benefit a lot,” she said.

Ranveer, another student learning the language at DU, said at least 20 students in his class dropped out because the “language is pretty tough for Indian students”.

Chinese exhibitor Guo Tan, on his maiden visit to the country, said: “Chinese publishers have had productive interactions with officials of the Federation of Indian Publishers. Two Indian publishing houses have entered into negotiations with six Chinese publishing houses over translation rights. They will work jointly as China is interested in translating Indian books into Chinese.”

Mr. Tan said: “Next year, we will bring more books from China and a majority of them will be in English. We will also bring books in Mandarin and other Chinese languages.”

Emphasising on people-to-people contact, Mr. Tan said: “We need to build a strong cultural relationship between China and India. More than the sale of books, this is our priority.”

Meanwhile, a painting competition held earlier this week drew a large number of budding artists aged between 5 and 16 years.

The competition’s themes included “Your favourite character from a book”, “Classroom scene”, “Library scene” and “A visit to the book fair”.

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