Masala Chicken, Butter ‘Nan’ Favourite Meal Of Chinese Engineers

Neel Kamal | TNN

Banawala (Mansa):
Having come thousands of kilometres away from their loved ones, the Chinese workers of Shandong Electric Power Construction Company (SEPCO)—employed to provide technical assistance at the Vedanta Plc’s Talwandi Sabo thermal plant (TSPL) in Banawala village of Mansa district—feel at home in Punjab. SEPCO was commissioned by Vedanta to provide assistance in running the thermal plant for which the Chinese workers were sent to Punjab in 2008.
Not only have they picked up Hindi and Punjabi words like ‘Namaste, ‘chalo’ and ‘chabi’ to exchange pleasantries with the local people, they are also bowled over by the rich Punjabi cuisine. Masala chicken served with butter ‘nan’, is the favourite food for most Chinese officials at the site. Zhang Houjun, incharge of commissioning at SEPCO, greets every Indian with folded hands saying, “Namaste.” Speaking to TOI, mostly through an interpreter, Zhang says, “I have learnt some Punjabi words, mainly to strike a conversation with the local workers and other people visiting the factory. I must say Indian food is very tasty, I like it.”
Even his colleague, Wang Hong, the project head, is quick to add, “I like butter ‘nan’, masala chicken, omelette. I would also say that the work culture here is good. We have worked on power projects in Brazil, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, but nothing beats India despite the hot summers.”
The colony housing the Chinese workers at the thermal plant is like ‘mini China’ in Punjab s h owc a s i n g t h e i r unique lifestyle and culture. Their rooms depict a different story in the interiors of Punjab.
Vedanta thermal plant officials say initially the Chinese kept to themselves but over the years they have become more open and friendly with the Indians. “Indian people are very friendly. We enjoy working with them in a congenial atmosphere,” says Wang, an engineer by profession.
TSPL employees, Gurpreet Singh and Akhilesh Khurana, who liaise with the Chinese, say, “They are enjoying their work here. We have lot of fun and party together. Their company makes us forget that there is any tension among the governments of these two Asian countries.”

AT HOME: The Chinese employees show no signs of homesickness despite being in Punjab since 2008