Monday, February 16, 2009

Mizoram Culture :: Regional Culture :: Indian Culture

Mizoram, hooked into the southern part of the north eastern part of India is land of rolling hills, rivers and lakes. The state of Mizoram in India is close to both the Indo-Bangladesh border and the Indo-Myanmar border. The closeness to the numerous international borders has made Mizoram a blend of various tribes that migrated from China, Myanmar (the erstwhile Burma), and the other parts of the Northeast. Some Mizo tribes may have formed a part of the people who lived in the Tao valley in northwest China. They slowly proceeded towards the border of Tibet and Myanmar and around 1700 AD, these tribes shifted to what is known as Mizoram today.

The Influence of Christianity in Mizoram

The social and cultural life in the Mizo society has undergone enormous changes over the years. The Mizo people belong to a Mongoloid race associated to the Shaans of Myammar (Burma). The Lushai, Hmars, Paithes, Raltes, Pang, Mara, Lakher, Kukis and Pawis of Mizoram are the tribes who were originnally the believers of the Pathan (good spirit). With the immigration of the British and consequently the settling of the Christian missionaries in the region, most people got converted to Christianity. Thus, due to the influence of the British in this region, most of the population speak in English besides Mizo. Mizo is written in Roman script. The nomadic Chakmas practice a curious mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism.

The Society of the Mizos

The Mizos are impregnable society with no class difference and no discrimination on the grounds of sex. 90% of the total society are into cultivation and the village seems like a big family. Birth of a child, marriage in the village and death of a person in the village or a community feast organised by a member of the village are prime events in which the whole village takes part.

The Art of the Mizos

Although the advent of Christianity brought about a big change, the colourful culture of the Mizos has remained intact. The traditional crafts of Mizoram are weaving, cane and bamboo work. The Mizo women weave intricate traditional designs and patterns on their looms. For example, the shawls carrying tribal clan motifs woven into them and are passed down the generations.

The Food of the Mizos

Mizo food is simple, basically made up of lentils, bamboo shoots and fish; pork, chicken and wild game meat and rice are hot favourites. Maize is widely grown and eaten.

1 comment:

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