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May 17, 2012 at 07:04pm IST

First Chinese collection of Rabindranath Tagore's songs released

Beijing: Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore continues to evoke fascination and interest among Chinese, 88 years after his visit to the nation as 50 of his popular songs were translated for the first time into Mandarin with music notes closely resembling the original.

Though several works of Tagore, who is the most widely translated foreign author in Chinese after Shakespeare, were already published, this is the first time that his songs were translated to enable widely spectrum of common public to understand and appreciate his nuanced poetry.

'The Select Collection of Rabindranath Tagore', translated by a Chinese Bengali specialist Bai Kaiyuan, was launched at the Central Conservatory of Music on Thursday with recital of his songs in both Bengali and Mandarin by Chinese students.

First Chinese collection of Tagore's songs released

Rabindranath Tagore is the most widely translated foreign author in Chinese after Shakespeare.

Bai studied Bengali in Bangladesh and worked in the Bengali section of the China Radio International. Noted Chinese musician Liu Yuening transcribed musical scores for the songs.

Besides touring India extensively, Liu also took part in musical concerts along with famous Indian musicians like Mandolin Srinivas.

The translated songs, which included India's national anthem 'Jana Gana Mana', covered subjects like prayers, nature, patriotism, Rainbow, celebrations, reunions and love.

Terming it as an impressive endeavour by the two Chinese, Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar said keeping up with Tagore's popularity, a joint production of Tagore's play 'Chitrangada' was enacted at Lanzhou University, recently which was a first such venture in China.

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