Chinese Man Recites Urdu Poetry

When Chinese Yung Van Liu breaks into Urdu verse, his chaste accent and precise pronunciation cause in his audience ripples of admiration.Reportedly the only Urdu poet of Chinese origin in India, Yung says: "I am an Indian by birth and by heart." A dentist by profession and settled in Jamshedpur, Yung, 74, has bagged the Firaq Gorakhpuri award for his linguistic talents.

"When World War II broke out, my family had to shift to Jamshedpur from Kolkata for security reasons. My parents faced tough times and could not afford to send me to school. That was how I attended an Urdu school where no fee was charged. Initially I found it difficult to learn the Urdu alphabet, but gradually I mastered it. After six months, my family’s financial condition improved and they shifted me back to an English school." "But by then I had developed a love for Urdu," says the poet who never considered moving to China. When the India-China border war broke out in 1962, Yung criticised the Chinese invasion through Urdu poetry.

According to Yung, Urdu, a language that played a vital role in India’s freedom struggle, was not the language of a particularly community. "Urdu originates in the hearts of the people," he said.

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