mmexport1471827047303“Tea Diplomacy” would be an apt terminology when it comes to India & China, with their fast-growing interactions which shed light on the development of their two greatest civilisations–civilizations which are always shaped by prevailing religions at the time. Madhav, my friend from CII Shanghai, coined the term to help inspire me to cover the topic. Immediately, a lot of ideas, words, phrases, personalities, and books came to my mind which are more tuned to business than writing–and yet here I am raising my pen to jot down something which must make some sense to people who are not used to this new concept.

Prof. Wang Xufeng, author of world-famous, Mao Dun prize-winning book Story of a Leaf and also the dean of Tea Culture department of Zhejiang Agriculture & Forestry University, turned the page of history annals overnight by finding that it was not the British who took tea to India in 1940, but the Chinese monks, notably Xuan-zang, who started this pilgrimage from fifth century onwards, while tea in its physical form was travelling from Yunnan and Sichuan thru Lahsa to India both in north and east thru Karakoram, Nathu-La & Jalap-La passes.