India and China are two cultures which boasts of both grand antiquity and ingenious modernity along with a long history of shared interactions and experiences. These two neighbouring geographical regions hold the prestige of being two of the four great Ancient Civilisations of the world. Both these civilisations have flourished over a long period of history by preserving the very best in their cultures as well as transforming to the stimulus of modernisation and change. The past of the people of these two regions have greatly enriched their present, which undoubtedly will help in building a better future; much like the cycle of thought taught by the great teacher Buddha.
It is in the course of these pasts of the two civilisations that a common shared heritage of interactions between Indian and Chinese inhabitants was developed. The evidence for interaction between India and China dates back to when the dating system had not even been established in any standard way. Even though formally recorded trade relations between the two regions began in the 2nd Century BCE through the integrated network of the Silk Roads; yet the interactions actually had began much earlier. These relations and interactions, as is historically evident, were of mutual respect and benefits. Thoughts, ideas, technology, culture, philosophies, commerce and above all people have always travelled in between these two realms – whether they are the ideas of Buddhism travelling to China or Chinese technologies like Paper coming to the Indian subcontinent. As time passed on, transformations did occur – the Bodhi meditation became Zen and ‘Cha’, the Chinese word for tea became ‘Chai’ – yet the exchange never ceased.
It is only during the modern times that these relations became more and more scant. In the aftermath of each of their colonial periods, both the Indian and Chinese states witnessed a world order transforming at a very fast pace and began to shape each of their nations to respond to these changes in their own ways. However, this contemporary world which is dominated by globalisation, has risen a need for further strengthening socio-economic relations between different states. The onus of the responsibility to elevate the historical connection between India and China and to reinforce its power towards building a brighter future together lies with the present generation; and it is in this context, that the CREAT Foundation was envisioned by the minds behind it.