The Streets where the Dragons Dance: The Street Life of Calcutta’s Chinatowns

By Aritra De, History Ph.D. candidate, Texas Tech University

Abstract: This article discusses the history and the socio-political and cultural life of the streets of Calcutta’s Chinatowns through an examination of the gradual assimilation of Chinese immi­grants that fostered the existing cosmopolitan character of the city. After providing the history of Chinese immigration to the city, the essay highlights the civic, political, economic, and cultural life of the streets of the Chinatowns, where each section chronologically examines how the influx of other Indian communities, political instability, urban development, and rise of capitalist enter­prises influenced and transformed the Chinese street life.

Keywords: Chinatown, cultural hybridity, Chinese immigration, Cold War, Sun Yat-sen Street, Tangra, Calcutta

Author Bio: Aritra De is a Ph.D. candidate and a Teaching Assistant in the Department of History at Texas Tech University. He completed his master’s and bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University, India. He was a Research Assistant from November 1, 2014, to October 31, 2015, in a research project entitled “Political Culture among the Women Members of Scheduled Caste Community in Panchayati Raj Institutions (P.R.I.) of District Nadia” sponsored by University Grants Commission, affiliated to Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

Edited by Julie Tanaka

Special thanks to the anonymous peer reviewers.

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(c) 2023 The Middle Ground Journal, (ISSN: 2155-1103) Number 25, Spring 2023, See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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