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The Old Chinatown in Kolkata gets added to the World Monuments Fund watch list in 2022

The old Chinatown was proudly located near Lalbazar in Central Kolkata

We have super news for all the Kolkata lovers and the locals. Also known as Tiretta Bazaar, Kolkata’s old Chinatown is now included in the World Monuments Fund (WMF) watchlist for 2022. The heritage destination was selected from 25 other destinations selected from around the world. All these destinations are unique sites that must be preserved urgently.

Once upon a time, home to around 20,000 ethnic Chinese Indian nationals, the Old Chinatown was proudly located near Lalbazar in Central Kolkata. It is the most exclusive Chinatown in India. Also, most importantly, Kolkata is the only city where Chinatown can be found. Known as Indian-Chinese cuisine worldwide, which is spread across the country today, is also credited to the Hakka Chinese people who settled here in the city. The cuisine is also popularly known as “Kolkata style Chinese food.”

This is not the first time we have come across such news. It’s the second time an iconic place from Kolkata has been added to the WMF list. The first place to be included in the list was Dalhousie, in 2005. Around the mid-18th century, when Chinese sailors settled in the area, the old Chinatown became an ethnic Chinese neighborhood. With multiple Chinese shops, establishments, and restaurants being set up, notably in the area, it soon took on the style and traditions of China.

Now that the place is officially included in the 2022 watchlist, much-needed recognition will be provided to Tiretta Bazaar and its Chinese community as a place that holds great cultural importance. Referred to as Calcutta in the old days, witnessing the different cultures that came to settle in the city during the days of the Raj is one of the most beautiful aspects of the city.

The World Monuments Fund’s watch list for this year duly focuses on 25 heritage sites that hold extraordinary significance yet face pressing challenges. The partnership of WMF with the local communities will help make a great difference.

The Tiretta Bazaar was named after an Italian immigrant from Venice, named Edward Tiretta.


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