April 9, 2004

Made in India, in China

While most places are flooded with Made in China” products, one country that is scared of mass-influx” of Chinese goods is India. India has a sizeable homegrown manufacturing sector. Lately, Chinese products are making inroads. You can see Indian products fighting a losing battle against Chinese goods in the street markets in Burma and Nepal. Some manufacturers in India are becoming importers. I often find these guy in Eastern cities in China looking for vegetarian food.

However, there is one ubiquitous Indian product that you can find all across China. Guess?

Incense sticks!!. I first saw a packet of Indian incense sticks in a temple in Xiamen. There are two or three brands that you find all over China, especially the western provinces like Sichuan and Yunnan.

Small fashion boutiques selling little trinkets from India can be found in Shanghai but also in Xian and Changsha. Most of these shops import from Nepalese traders, but lately, they have been buying directly from India. One of the soap adverts features models dressed in traditional courtesan dresses from India.

Indian stuff in Chengdu

In Chengdu, one day, I spotted this shop selling clothes from India. Many of the young women I meet here, I find they are starting to experiment with fashion and accessories beyond Western/Japanese/Korean stuff. They try to match an accessory or two from some other cultures with their day to day attire.


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“Happy Songkran” in Chiang Mai I was in Chiang Mai in time for the Thai New Year (called Songkran). It is getting hotter. And a great time to splash water at each other.