Chinese 'gopi' collects
20,000 Krishna idols
By Sreya Basu
Nov 21 (IANS) You could call Wen Kunrong, a 54-year-old Chinese
woman, a devotee of Hindu God Krishna, but she would rather
be called his 'gopi' (consort). She has collected nearly 20,000
idols of her favourite deity, not just from across India but
from different countries.
who runs a restaurant at China Town in eastern Kolkata, is
a passionate collector of Krishna idols since 1974. Ancestors
of many residents in the area migrated from southern China
in the 19th century. Kunrong's family has been here for five
was my 20th birthday and a Bengali friend gifted me a tiny
stone idol of Krishna. As soon as I looked into the eyes of
the idol I felt a soul connection with him. It seemed as if
I am born for him. Since then my Krishna hunt is on. All I
look out for anywhere I go is Krishna and I can't control
myself on seeing his idol," Kunrong told IANS.
has a collection of 19,366 Krishna idols but none of Krishna,
Hinduism's most popular divinity, with his beloved Radha.
am too possessive about my Krishna and fantasise myself as
Radha as well as Meera (Krishna's famous devotee). Despite
being a Chinese, every day I read translations of Bhagavad
Gita (a book containing Krishna's teachings) and also worship
him. Every year during Janmashtami (Krishna's birth anniversary)
there is an elaborate ceremony at my place," Kunrong
has collected Krishna idols not only from across India but
also from different countries.
have collected idols from almost every corner of India, including
Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mathura, Vrindaban, Mumbai, Chennai,
as well as from Tibet, Nepal, China, Australia, America, Japan,
Costa Rica and Spain," Kunrong said.
addiction to Krishna has made me want to capture him in all
possible moods and I christen them as I wish - Hanging Krishna,
Angel Krishna, Baby-face Krishna, Flute-less Krishna, Swan-rider
Krishna, Buddha-Krishna, Laddu-Gopal and Makhan-chor Gopal
are some of them," Kunrong said.
it comes to getting a Krishna idol, Kunrong makes her pick
from roadside stalls to shopping malls.
of the idols I picked up are either from street hawkers or
roadside stalls. Some are from shopping malls and curio shops
as well. And obviously, knowing of my passion for Krishna,
I get similar gifts from friends and relatives too.
don't go by the price tag while getting a Krishna idol. Prices
for the idols in my collection range from Rs.10 to Rs.100,000.
I am a single woman and don't have a family as such. So whatever
I earn is for Krishna," Kunrong added.
(Sreya Basu can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)