An Indian flavour to China’s New Year.

The widely travelled Bollywood musical “Taj Express” lent an Indian flavour to New Year celebrations in Beijing this year. Every year, Chinese television channels mark the New Year with elaborate television galas held on New Year’s Eve. The celebrations are widely watched and have, in recent years, emerged as highly competitive events with popular regional channels such as Hunan and Jiangsu Television spending millions to compete with State broadcaster CCTV (China Central Television). The former two channels managed to bag the biggest-names in the Chinese showbiz industry, putting on glitzy New Year’s Eve galas this year.

CCTV’s show, in keeping with the channel’s official status, was more sober, with safe domestic and international acts. This year, the show had a rare Indian flavour to its international segment, featuring a dance performance by the actors of “Taj Express”, which is currently touring China. Introducing Bollywood as “India’s popular name card”, CCTV’s hosts praised the musical, which has earned rave reviews in China. Its month-long tour began on December 19, and includes stops in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Wuhan and Foshan.

Ananth Krishnan