by Mainak Bhaumik
color, 29 min, 2007
Mainak Bhaumik's film provides insight into India's often-overlooked Chinese population, examining the thriving Chinatown in Kolkata, Bengal. There, skilled Chinese immigrants have historically established themselves in business - especially tanneries and shoemaking - and created a unique Indo-Chinese cuisine. Exploring the factors that make up Chinese-Indian identity, the film looks at the Indian cultural stereotypes of Chinese immigrants and the effects of government resettling of Chinese-Indians during the 1962 border conflict between the two countries. A portrait emerges of a hardworking and traditionally enclosed immigrant community, but one that is becoming increasingly assimilated with mainstream Indian culture. Melting Wok pays attention to the unique contributions and experiences of Chinese-Indians, while also helping the audience to understand the larger phenomena of immigration and cultural identity.
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
European Association of Social Anthropologists' Film, Video & New Media Festival, Slovenia, 2008