On my recent visit, I had the pleasure to see, everywhere, the influence of Zheng He Cheng Ho..not only
Chinese Fishing Nets
Chinese Frying pans made out of clay much like a Wok
Chinese Jars for pickling. Many of these are family heirlooms and a new sweet friend has promised me a small one on my next visit!
Cheng Ho Zheng He believed in the art of collaboration. He arrived in Cochin with a fleet never before seen on its horizon. A sizeable chinese community was left behind who settled on the left bank of River Kalvathy. Cheng Ho had a message of peace from the Emperor who did not covet the land, the riches or the trade. In fact Cheng Ho gave gifts to the people he met rather than exploiting them like the latter comers such as Portugese or the Dutch or the British, the former two powers were a little considerate to the local traders but the British wanted to maintain their monopoly on trade, something quite opposite to what Zheng He Cheng Ho preached.
Let us hope that Dr Tan's dream of having Museums dedicated to the concept of Collaboration championed by Cheng Ho becomes a reality and he has informed me that Cochin would be one of the cities to highlight. That would be nice!
The harmony and peace that exists between Muslims, Christians and Hindus as well as foreign traders is an indirect reflection of pre colonial traders and peace ambassadors to Cochin such as Cheng Ho.