Mother Language Day: Transcultural Encounters with Chinese Communities, Languages and Cultures in Asia and Africa

For the third time, the IAAW cordially invites all interested parties to participate in an exciting program on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day. The Mother Language Day will take place on 21 February 2023 in room 315 at the IAAW, Invalidenstraße 118, 10115 Berlin.

The two collaborative research projects De:link//Re:link Local perspectives on transregional (dis-)entanglements und Beyond Social Cohesion Global Repertoires of Living Together (RePLITO) are jointly organizing this year’s program:

Reading and Dialogue with Tendai Huchu
2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
moderated by Daniel Koßmann & Susanne Gehrmann

The first part of the event will be dedicated to Tendai Huchu’s reading of “The Sale”, a sci-fi short story in which Chinese-Zimbabwean relations are projected into a dystopic future. In dialogue with the author and the audience, we will discuss how this futuristic vision relates to China’s current Belt and Road Initiative on the African continent, but also to Zimbabwe’s colonial past and postcolonial presence. The second part of the discussion will be dedicated to Tendai Huchu’s broader oeuvre, the shift between genres and the question of writing in English with an African mother tongue – Shona in this case – as cultural and intellectual resource.

Cultures in Communication – Chinese in Tanzania
4.30 5.30 p.m.
Video project presentation by Linda Ammann and Daud Samwel Masanilo

This video dialogue gives insights into an ongoing research project on two groups of people – Chinese speakers residing in Tanzania and Tanzanian citizens – learning each others’ languages: Swahili and Mandarin Chinese. The project partners report about the current situation regarding the Chinese presence in Tanzania and discuss about opportunities and challenges of learning these languages as well as about the effects on mutual cultural understanding.

Silk Road Talk with Prof. Lawrence Liang (Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi)
Crouching Tigers and Invisible Dragons: Representation of Indian-Chinese in Indian Popular Cinema

6.00 8.00 p.m.
moderated by Nadja-Christina Schneider

The Indian-Chinese or desi-chinese community in India constitutes a minuscule minority as far as population goes, but the cultural impact of the community has not been insignificant and one can find its imprints across culinary cultures as well as certain manufacturing and service sectors such as the tannery business and beauty industry. There has also been relatively little scholarship on this tiny community, and in the absence of official and scholarly accounts, what would it mean for us to turn to Indian cinema, that great archive and chronicler of social lives in India, to excavate a social history of the community? In this talk Prof. Liang traces the history of the representation of the Indian-Chinese in popular Indian films and asks whether there are indeed any images of the community beyond a set of clichés.