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Updated: January 18, 2014 08:36 IST

A Tamil voice, from China

K. Lakshmi
Comment (6)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Zhao Jiang .
The Hindu
Zhao Jiang .

Her visiting card carries the name Zhao Jiang. But, when she greets you, she says in crystal clear Tamil ‘En Peyar Kalaimagal’ (My Name is Kalaimagal). It is by this name that millions of listeners across the world recognise this resident of Beijing when she presents Tamil programmes aired by China Radio International (CRI).

Ms. Jiang began learning about Indian history and Tamil culture nearly 16 years ago; today, she is the author of two books in Tamil. Having worked at the CRI since 1999, she is now the director of CRI’s Tamil Department. During her visit to Chennai on Friday, Chennai Press Club honoured Ms. Jiang for her services to Tamil language.

Pausing in between every sentence to be clear, Ms. Jiang preferred to talk in classical Tamil and talked about her work at the CRI’s Tamil Department, which recently celebrated its golden jubilee, and her books.

“I learnt the language from Chinese and Tamil teachers at Communication University for four years. I like Bharathiyar,” said Ms. Jiang, who also recited a couplet from the Thirukkural. With a 15-member team, the majority of them Chinese, her Tamil department airs programmes for four hours daily and has listeners in various countries, including India, Singapore and Canada.

Speaking to The Hindu, Ms. Jiang said: “We air programmes on Chinese culture, music and tourist destinations. We have even launched a mobile application to enable people to listen to our programmes. I want to help foster China-south India relations and promote Tamil among the Chinese residents.”

Her first book, ‘Cheenavil Inba Ula’, is probably the first Tamil book to be authored by a native of China. “It is about tourist destinations in Beijing and Tibet. My idea was to introduce China to Tamil readers,” she said.

She also authored a Chinese-Tamil dictionary with meanings of over 27,000 words. “Both Chinese and Tamil are classical languages. But, there is no direct dictionary. My next book will be a Tamil-Chinese dictionary,” said Ms. Jiang, who is on her third visit to the State.

More In: Chennai | News

Sir..where i can get the Chinese-Tamil dictionary

from:  boopathi raja
Posted on: Jan 20, 2014 at 19:26 IST

this makes me feel proud as one from chennai --thhere will be slow and steady
progress and probably we should have a radio station teaching us chinese language
and chinese culture.we should have a chinese voice from chennai (probably there is
already one --i do not know )

from:  Dr Krish Srikanth
Posted on: Jan 20, 2014 at 08:18 IST

Wow, a chinese likes Tamil literature when most of india shows contempt
towards it. Isn't that amazing and weird at the same time.

from:  Rup Har
Posted on: Jan 19, 2014 at 01:49 IST

Beautiful! Positive understanding needed for huamni
ty.

from:  Ernest Rajendra
Posted on: Jan 18, 2014 at 12:35 IST

The RJs of FMs and TV channels of Tamilnadu must learn the art of
presentation of a program from announcers like Kalaimagal of Radio
China be it the World News or News capsule. The RJs of FMs do not
know the difference between 'la, zha' except to talk speedily without
a pass and without ensuring the reachability to the listeners and
about RJs of TV shows, the less said the better. The announcers of CRI
speak in chaste Tamil and present the program with enriched contents.
Even before playing cine songs, they give a prelude to it and play at
the listener's choice. The CRI has a program on 'Learn Chinese through
Tamil'too. There are listeners from rural pockets of Villupuram,
Tiruvannamalai and Chenji whose letters can be heard from CRI. It is a
happy and surprising moment that the CRI has brought out a Chinese-
Tamil dictionary.State Tamil department must extend its support to
such institutions voluntarily for the cause of proliferation of tamil
language and culture outside India.

from:  BASKARAN R V
Posted on: Jan 18, 2014 at 12:01 IST

She likes bharathiar....!..what about the other poets in tamil............it seems she was taught
only about bharathiar by the so called teachers in her uniiversity...strange.even i
experienced this in my childhood.The school in which i studied in nagpur focussed only on
bharathiar and his poems, none others.The TN educational board should take serious steps
in checking the syllabus of tamil across the schools/universities in india and abroad, where
tamil is taught and should emphasize the good work done by various poets in tamil.

from:  Anand Santhanam
Posted on: Jan 18, 2014 at 10:11 IST
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