The Chinese have made 'incursions' into Ramlilas being staged across Uttar Pradesh
with characters of Ram, Hanuman and Ravan wearing outfits made in the dragon country and fighting with each other using bows and arrows bearing the 'Made in China' tag.
As the dresses made in China are cheap, many Ramlila committees have opted for the same.
"This year, the costumes of various characters have been imported from foreign countries like China", Pundit Ram Kumar, who runs a Ramlila committee in Gonda, told PTI.
The costumes, which earlier used to come from Madurai and Kolkata, are now coming from China.
"As the Chinese stuff is more economical, good looking and durable, the costumes coming from China are being hired", Ram Kumar said.
Owner of Shree Gopal Chitrashala, Aminabad Prem Kumar, who is associated with various Ramlilas for the last 30 years, told that this year a new variety of Chinese costumes and articles had been introduced.
Some of the costumes imported from China include the dresses of Ram, Laxman and Ravan besides articles like crown, sword and mace.
"Earlier, the supply came from neighbouring states. Now with some items coming from China, our business has increased", Kumar said.
Owner of another shop, Sangam Chitrashala, Munna Lal said that besides supply to Ramlila committees, these costumes and paraphernalia are rented to various parties for staging plays and ballets also.
"Locally made costumes and masks being used during Ramlilas are very heavy compared to the masks made in China. Chinese masks are also more vibrant," he said.
Asked about business after Ramlila, he said major users of this stuff throughout the year are schools and theatre groups, which prefer it due to easy availability and affordable price.