World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Tangra, Kolkata

Tangra is a region in east Kolkata that traditionally housed a large number of tanneries owned by people of Hakka Chinese origin. "47 South Tangra Road", may be the most confusing postal address, as it used to cover the whole of Chinatown Tangra with over 350 tanneries. Most of the standing structures have been built, over many years, by the industrious Hakka Chinese, upon marshy and reclaimed low lying land. Over the past several decades, it has served as the location of Calcutta's Chinatown. This is not a coincidence; the Hakka Chinese of Calcutta have gradually turned this part of the Kolkata into an important destination for sourcing finished and semi-finished leather. The Hakka Chinese specialized in the manufacture of leather and turned it into one of the major industries of West Bengal, providing employment to tens of thousands of local inhabitants. In addition to the huge volume of exports to the developing and developed countries, finished leather is supplied to the major shoe and leather goods manufacturers all over the country. Many made-to-order shoe shops in Kolkata are also run by entrepreneurs from this community.

Food from Tangra is a distinct variety of traditional Hakka Chinese cuisine adapted to Indian ingredients and the Bengali palate. This has spread to the rest of India, along with the recipes earlier unique to Tangra. Tangra is now the most popular destination for Chinese food. Chinese food sold in Tangra restaurants are now known all over the world as 'Hakka Style" Chinese food.

Kolkata Chinatown is changing rapidly. The population is no longer renewed by waves of migration and many traditional professions such as dentistry, laundry and tannery are no longer the preserve of the Chinese. The West Bengal government, under direction from the Supreme Court, recently moved all tanneries to Bantala, a suburb in the east of Kolkata. However, Tangra has been an integral part of the culture of the Chinese community in India.

The success of "Hakka style" Chinese food in the rest of India encouraged a migration of many Chinese families to other cities as the economic fortunes of Tangra decayed. Many landmark Chinese eateries, including Nanking, Waldorf, Peiping and Fat Mama have closed or changed hands and fortunes. The once prosperous Calcutta Chinese community is now clearly in decline. However, a boom in Tangra's unique Indian-Chinese food is attracting a lot of attention these days and the cuisine will probably live on in Kolkata and in the global Indian Diaspora.

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.