Source : NewsNation
Mythological dramas from India have become an unlikely rage in China, even prompting groups of young Chinese to start voluntary subtitling groups in an effort to bring the shows to a mass audience.
The dramas Naagin, Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, the 2013 series Mahabharat and Buddhaa-Rajaon Ka Raja have all been subtitled into Chinese and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people online. On one of China’s widely used video-sharing websites, Bilibili, the first four episodes of Naagin’s second season had 1.8 lakh views, reported Chinese media.
“Indian mythology itself is just fascinating. Its philosophy and worldview, which are very exotic, have been a wonderful new world to me,” Yang Buhui, 29, who works in the gaming industry, was quoted as saying by the state-run Global Times.
Yang who is a volunteers a group that provides Chinese subtitles for Indian TV dramas.
She began the group of providing Chinese subtitles because of her favourite Indian TV series of all time, ‘Devon Ke Dev Mahadev’ (DKDM), which premiered in 2011 and ran a total of 820 episodes. It tells the stories of Lord Shiva, also known as Mahadev.
“I love the drama because it’s a key to the world of Indian mythology,” she said. “Besides, the actors and actresses are not only gorgeous, but their acting skills are good.” Indian dramas are quite new to the Chinese audience, but they are gaining popularity, the report said.
Dramas from the US, South Korea and Japan are widely popular in China. In the past, Indian dramas were aired on State broadcaster CCTV’s drama channel, and drew wide following, but few shows were available online, where most young Chinese consume entertainment.
Yang told the Global Times she started her subtitling group because of her love for the show Devon Ke Dev Mahadev. “I love the drama because it’s a key to the world of Indian mythology,” she said. “Besides, the actors and actresses are not only gorgeous, but their acting skills are good.”
Qing Qing, 35, who works in education industry, said she loves the actors so much that she would watch the “raw meat” episodes – the episodes in Hindi language that are not translated or subbed in Chinese yet.
In the beginning, there was not much translation work completed for Indian dramas, and Qing said she had to wait along time for Chinese subtitles. “Their acting skills are sogood that even the evil characters seem adorable, and you just can’t hate them,” Qing said.
While many of the popular domestic actors are young, gentle and slender with porcelain skin, Indian actors have more exotic looks ranging from sweet to masculine to mature, she said.
Qing Qing, said she was drawn by the skills of Indian actors and their more “exotic” features compared with more homogenous East Asian actors. “Their acting skills are so good that even the evil characters seem adorable, and you just can’t hate them. The male characters in many of the South Korean and Japanese dramas all look the same and they’ve become the standard for looks.”
Given the wide patronage of Buddhism in China, another drama that has attracted following, Qing said, was Buddhaa-Rajaon Ka Raja. “Everybody knows that both China and India are among the greatest ancient civilizations in the world,” Qing said. “However, compared to what they know about the countries from the West or other Asian countries such as Japan, what many Chinese know about India is still limited to the simple introductions in textbooks. I hope that there will be a massive import of Indian films and dramas in the future.”
The most viewed episodes by the group on bilibili.com, one of China’s largest video-sharing communities, are the first four episodes of the second season of ‘Naagin,’ which have gained about 180,000 views as of May 1. The series, which began airing in 2015, is a supernatural drama.
Yang said “We translate the Russian subtitles into English and then into Chinese, which largely relies on us being familiar with the mythology and the dramas’ storylines. Then we have people who major in Hindi language as well as experts in Indian mythology double check the subtitles.”
Besides dramas, Indian films have begun making inroads into China. On May 5, Dangal will release across the country. During a week long trip to China to promote the film, Aamir Khan was received by thousands of fans and given wide coverage by Chinese media, as he met Chinese stars at the Beijing International Film Festival, posed with sports stars, practised yoga with his fans and even fed pandas in the southwestern city of Chengdu.