What is it like to be an Indian living in China?
Vibhor Sharma, I live here
Hell safe, big, developing quite faster!!
Studying and living in China has been one of my best experiences in life. I have always been in awe with the sheer size of China and its populace. Though it is no different than in India. That's why when my Chinese friends ask me about my opinion about the large population of China, my single answer it's same as in India!
But on the other side, it's safer, a lot safer! I can go about at 2 am outside and nothing to worry about. I can see girls walking on the roads at midnight and that makes me introspect where India is lacking? I have never heard that any of my friend (international friend) has been a victim of any crime. Though I heard they made some Chinese as victims in the local club.
I agree with Rahul hard time for vegetarians, but again its life, you gotta used to it.
People are nice and welcoming, when they hear you are Indian (印度人) they get excited too. Be ready for shy girls, who will not reply back to your hello and will shy away. In chinese society, people usually think about themselves and it's about money only. It's same in Indian society too. Be ready to see the dancing middle-aged women in some square or parks jiggling over musical tones.
Chinese students are very hard working, be ready to get inspired. At least that makes me so. Perhaps the students in my university are really diligent.Some of the Chinese students will have a flawless English accent and that will be out of blue for you. Professors here are cool and encouraging, I can be on dinner and sharing some beers with them. It's common.
They are damn good in developing infra. Infra is getting developed really fast. One day there is an old building and very next week you can see a new building standing there in pride and hinting towards the mighty China.
Food, I seriously am very scared to try something new out there. I'm never sure about food whether it is safe or not. As Chinese people themselves don't believe the food vendors and food processing companies. I have heard about the stories of milk adulteration by some big company many a times from my friends. That makes me more cautious about it.
Railways stations are pretty good as compared to India. Unlike India, no mess on the platforms. Signboards with funny English translations.
All in all, China is like a home away from home for me now. I have acculturated to it.
Andy Lee Chaisiri, actually not from India
I'm not really sure why, but every Indian man I've met that lives in China has a blonde girlfriend. Those guys also studied in the west (US and Britain) though. So it seems many Indians in China came there after studying in the west, and hang out mostly with western immigrants.
Siva NS, lived in China
I'm living in Guangzhou, China for the past 6 months. Few observations:
1.There are more Indians in China (and not just the big cities like Beijing & Shanghai) than you might realize. Found this out on a new year party in an Indian restaurant.
2.Westerners are seen more in Indian restaurants than Indians or Chinese.
3.Learnt about Tai Chi, which really is cool.
4.Get really strange looks from people in villages, especially young children, who might never have seen non-Chinese before.
5.Kids speak to you in English to practice their English, which they can't do with their parents who don't speak English.
6.Public transport is amazing. The frequency of bus/train is really good.
7.Want to visit a town that is 700kms away. How long would that take by train? 12hours, night train? Nope. 3hrs by train!!!
8.Crowd control in subways, amazing.
9.Pinyin is still not the exact pronunciation. You think you have it right, but you are not.
10.People work hard.
12.People are kind and friendly.
13.Easier to bargain. Your skills honed in India comes handy.
14.People in mainland China are much kinder & gentle than those in Hong Kong.
15.People take their health seriously.
16.Chinese are blessed with natural fitness. They don't have to do any exercise and still remain very fit. A Chinese friend of mine explained it as 'it's in our genes'.
17.China is not that different from India.
18.That longing that if only India also grows as fast as China.
19.The appreciation people show when you use Chinese words, Xie Xie!!
20.Public smoking, especially in closed spaces like restaurants. Glad this was banned in India.
21.Hey, I know that mobile brand!! It's available in India too on flipkart!
22.Apple (not the fruit) is a big deal
23.It's ok to make kids walk and not carry them everywhere.
24.Most of the children are being raised by their grandparents while the parents are busy with their career.
25.You see a lot of old, very old people, and they are fit.
26.The government destroys good roads and builds them again, just to create employment. Believe me, true story.
27.Flights are almost always delayed. People take it for granted that flights will be delayed and they plan their schedules accordingly. Hello Air China!!
28.You get a lot of greens (leafy vegetables like spinach, coriander leaves etc) in the markets. But boy it is tough to get Mint (pudina).
29.You are vegetarian and will have trouble in China! Don't believe it. People here eat more vegetables than a lot of us.
30.What about all the 'Chinese eat snakes, frogs, lizards, cockroaches' hoopla. Don't believe any of it. They eat more of Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Sheep, Cow, Pig.
31.And by the way, my regular lunch place does server frog & dog among other meats. I trust the chef knows which meat I order for.
32.Yes, it is common to find dog meat 'curry' in restaurants. I hear this is more common in the Canton region.
33.No, I haven't tried any exotic meat in China. I say in China. You can't hold against me that one time I had crocodile spring roll in London. OK, let's not talk about it.
34.It is easy/common to get Snake, Frog or Turtle meat. Just go to a meat market or a super market, see which snake/frog/turtle appeals to you (they are alive & kicking (ok, not so much kicking) in a water tank). Point your finger at it and you have your meat for lunch ready.
35.The variety of fruits & vegetables available is refreshing.
36.Places with 'Halal' sign brings images of Briyani & Kebabs to your mind. Not in China. But the 'pull noodles' that you get in these places is a killer. Pull noodles with potato, chillies, onion..yum yum.
37.Chinese while speaking English answer your implied question and not the actual question. A typical conversation:
1.Me: Hi XXXX, would you mind translating this food menu for menu to find omlette? (expecting answers like No, No problem, Let me do it...)
3.Me: (In mind voice:) oh, does that mean he minds doing it for me, so he won't do it?
4.Learning: XXXX answered the 2nd part of my question, which is 'translate the menu'.
5.To be kept in mind when someone is saying Yes or No.
Akhilraj Grandhi, knows Mandarin Chinese
“Laowai” It is the usual term for calling a foreigner
Most people will take you for granted and even look down unless you are a white foreigner !
Dont be surprised if a Chinese calls you a brown looking Indian as “Hei Ren” (Black man)
All the answers here are pretty accurate to some extent and they mostly focused on the positive part so there's no point to drop that "beautiful place beautiful people" cr@p again
I'll get to the part which you'll understand only If u stayed as long as I did(five years and counting )
1.Chinese people in the cities are the most fake people you'll ever see,all they care about is Apple, European Luxury Brands and everything that's American (you wouldn't believe how much they care about being "American" ).
2.Basketball is a really huge thing here.
Almost all the school kids and middle aged guys watch the NBA while the American basketball players are superstars in china.
3.They love to smoke drink eat REPEAT,they don't care if its a public place as it is completely normal and got imbedded into their culture.
4.If you are a good for nothing illiterate WHITE person you could still be making thousands of yuans per week (Chinese are the most blatant proud racists you'll ever come across).
5.Yes china used to be one of the healthiest cultures but now they're the unhealthiest around here with their westernized food,poor safety standards,alcohol,nicotine plus with crazy air pollution levels.
6、Chinese love their tea,the affluent will drop thousands of yuans for few grams of tea leaves (it is their status symbol).
7.Technology and infrastructure is so big here that is not lesser than any of the first world countries (Indians just stay out of any sort of comparisons)
8.Every rich person's ultimate aim is to earn enough money and leave china to some European country .
11.They love Indians in general but the thing is you need to look like the Indians in Bollywood
And there are hundreds of other BAD and GOOD things about china.
If you do have money lying around don't hesitate to come to china,You'll experience a new world and you'll love it !!
Rahul Ramgopal, An eternally curious Capricornian, software consultant by profession
I had visited the city of Shanghai, China in January 2014 for a period of 3 months, working for an onsite software implementation project.
When I landed in the Pudong International Airport and was travelling to my hotel, the first thing that struck my mind was how fabulous the infrastructure was and how it would take many more years for any Indian city to reach such levels of sophistication. We may be doing well in terms of GDP and maybe we are one of the fastest growing economies of the world, but to have a metropolis like a Shanghai or a Beijing , it is going to take us a few more years.
The city is the largest city in the world in terms of population and for me, the overall 3 months stay there was pretty enjoyable. The modes of public transport available there are pretty awesome and all you need to know are numbers (for bus transport), Chinese pronunciation of locations (for cabs) and metro line color (red, green etc for subway rides). At my work location, most of them knew English, and I got pretty close to one Program Manager who explained loads about the Chinese people and culture.
Chinese people are friendly, never too far away from a smile. Although, in the outdoors, if you go shopping, people might try to fleece you, but still they do so with a smile. English signboards and placards are placed in busy streets and shopping malls in Shanghai, which was very helpful. Learning certain Chinese salutations and greetings could go a long way in gaining trust or getting around. Even though some people stare at you at times (as you stand out distinctly from the crowd) I did not experience any racism there. If you are a tall person (6 feet or above as in my case) you can see the tip of the scalp of 99% of the crowd in a metro train. If you are a single traveler, and you are planning to go shopping, beware of the scams that are rampant at the major shopping streets (ex East Nanjing Road). Some of the scammers speak impeccable English which is the first sign that shows that they could be a potential threat and could easily fleece you of what you have.
When it comes to food, it is a nightmare for vegans/vegetarians. There is meat and poultry everywhere and almost the entire population is non vegetarian. Even in a seemingly harmless vegetarian dish, there could be traces of pig fat or egg white in the gravy. If you are a non vegetarian, you will not face much difficulty but then again some of the dishes are bland and might not appeal to your palate. The overall culinary experience for me over the three months was quite pleasant.
Dharmesh Shah, studied at India
Your Question is, ‘What is it like to be an Indian living in China’ so lets only talk about the chinese attitude to us, Indians and not judge anyone.
I have been living in a small china, Zhuji in Zhejiang province from 13 years and have a business here. when we settled here, the city was yet not too well expanded and hardly had few foreigners living here. Though yet today, we don't find foreigners faces around here in the city, except those who are here for business, the attitude of locals earlier or now, is still the same. Kind, caring and always with goodness. well, in our city, there are only 2 Indian families as of now.
All countries have good and bad, but with my experience being here & moving around in China, within too many cities, it is positively good by more than 80%. We in India are more involved with political issues so our thoughts and ideas change as per the news, but here, people are not so well indulged in political matters thus those effects are less. when there were some difficulties between China and India related to the border or sometimes also in earlier times, we never faced any issues. though we would be discussing the matter, the result would always be, ‘its political and after few days its got to settle down.’
As an Indian, its no big deal in China, its a good life. welcome if you plan to come and visit or settle here in China for your business too
Vivek Dahiya, I am a proud Indian
China is beautiful and so are the people there.
I have lived in Shanghai and travelled to a lot of places in Mainland China like Shanghai, Beijing, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Suzhou and more that I can't recall now.
Shanghai is a beautifully planned city and it is divided in New Shanghai(financial hub) and the regular Shanghai by the Yangtze River. For an Indian national to live in Shanghai is very convenient. You get all the kinds of facilities that you get in India like affordable housing (it depends in which part), groceries(Tesco and Carrefour) and Indian restaurants. Shanghai is home to almost 4 million expats from all the parts of the world out of its population of around 22 million. There is a huge Indian community that lives here for work, business and leisure.
As an Indian, you are only about 5 hour distant from Shanghai and it is also quite convenient to travel back and forth from your native place in India. There are plenty of Air India and other flights connection available between the major cities of India like Mumbai and Delhi.
There is good amount of Indian student community that studies in Shanghai and in the major parts of China. Also, the Indian expat community is so well connected and well-knitted that they celebrate all the major festivities together.
Chinese public transportation systems are also more punctual than Indian systems.
Weather in China is bit more colder than most of the Indian states but it is still quite similar to India’s. I know many Indians who have been working in China for many years now. The work visa is easily available to those who really deserve it. That's the best part about China’s open door policy not just in trade but also in attracting talent from other countries.
The language is one barrier for most of the Indians living in China but I have known many people who absolutely love Mandarin and interacts with locals quite frequently.
It felt awesome to live in China. It's a great place to be for an Indian citizen. When I was there, we were told not to speak about politics in China in general public. That was the only one thing which is out of comprehension for any foreigner visiting China.
Karanpreet Singh, studied at Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology
China is a good place to live in, provided you can speak their language. People are super helpful and will work with you to understand you. Also, Chinese people are always smiling and they make really good food!
I spent most of my time in Suzhou whereas I did stay Nanjing and Shanghai for some time. I did not learn any Mandarin before going because I assumed that most people would speak some English and boy, I’ve never been so wrong.
Many Indians are vegetarians. A word of caution - it is difficult to find pure vegetarian food in China. Though big cities have a few Indian restaurants where you can find vegetarian food.
Talking about Suzhou, it is a calm and serene city built over a network of canals. The modern part of the city is just like any other metropolitan whereas the old city (in the picture) has a unique beauty.
I was warned by my friends that Chinese people are not very welcoming to the foreigners, especially Indians, turns out this is not true. Whenever I went outside, I was greeted by smiling facing - many of them also asking to get a picture with me. I was a temporary celebrity.
Public buses and subways are available for local transportation in most of the cities in China. In Suzhou, the public buses did not have any directions in English and the announcements were also made in Mandarin, whereas the subway stations were more suitable for me because the case was different there.
For intercity travel, trains are a better option because they rarely get delayed whereas flights can be delayed due to weather, so it roughly takes equal time to travel by train or by plane.
My stay in China won’t have been possible without my savior Chinese, Taiwanese and Malaysian friends who helped me translate, get food and make things amazing.
Summing up - If you’re an Indian - well, works for any nationality, moving to China:
1.Learn some basic Mandarin beforehand - Numbers, Food and drinks, What is this, What is that, How much, Yes, No, Do you speak English, I don’t speak Chinese. MOST IMPORTANT
2.Find some Chinese friends and spend time with them to know more about Chinese culture and language.
3.Prefer trains over planes.