Chinese radio station fans meet in Erode

The basis of this post is to make you consider what in life is essential and what does getting the up-to-date communication device violation really mean to us

2 way radio nzCOIMBATORE: Pallavi K Paramasivam, a 52-year-old social worker in Perundurai, remembers the first radio he got when he was just 15 years old. He would tune the Motorola radio in all possible ways to reach stations that played Tamil programmes. It was during one such attempt that he received the broadcast of the Tamil service of the Chinese Radio International (CRI). He went on to become such a fan of this radio station and wrote several letters that the station invited him on a two-week trip to China in 1986.

Paramasivam visited Beijing and Shanghai and tourist spots including The Great Wall of China. When he travelled to China during the 2008 Olympics, CRI helped him find lodging and passes to the games venues. “I was a regular listener of many international radio stations including the Tamil services of BBC, Moscow and Pakistan. But what attracted me to CRI-Tamil service was that they replied to my letters,” he said.

There are several admirers of the CRI-Tamil service, which started its broadcast in 1963. They are so many in number that came together to set up a listeners’ association in 1986. The association organises listeners’ meets every year, which is attended without fail by members from across the state. Paramasivam, for instance, is a regular at meetings since 1986.

On Saturday, about 300 listeners attended the 25+t+h CRI-Tamil service listeners meet at Perundurai. Many of them became fans of the radio station by writing letters. Prompt replies from the station ensured that they developed a kind of emotional relationship with the radio station.

“Last year, the radio announced greetings for my daughter’s marriage,” said S Porunaibalu from Tirunelveli. He started listening to CRI a decade ago after a friend told him about the radio station. His first letter received an enquiry from the local police station. But he was thrilled once he received a reply and from then on sent the station several letters. Even in this internet age, he sends letters by post.

Zhao Jiang, director of the CRI, says that they receive several thousands of letters from the listeners every year. “This radio service has helped improve ties between the countries and develop an interest in China among the listeners,” she said.

Interestingly, the listeners appreciate the way the Chinese radio speaks Tamil. “They speak in pure Tamil and the programmes are interesting and their presentation is excellent,” says S Senthilkumar, a Pollachi resident.

The programmes are predominantly feature stories. They also broadcast news which is, of course, from a Chinese perspective. Some of the listeners said these broadcasts help them understand the Chinese view on issues like Tibet as well as international affairs.
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Pallavi K Paramasivam, a 52-year-old social worker in Perundurai, remembers the first radio he got when he was just 15 years old.He would tune the radio in all possible ways to reach stations that played Tamil programmes.

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