“Sweet memories of Mizos”: On misconceptions about the North-East in many parts of India – Mizoram

I found the Mizos practise honesty and trust effortlessly. Why don’t we give it a try? […]

It was 10 years ago that I was posted to Lunglei for a two-year tenure.

There is a lot of misconception about the North-East in many parts of India. That people there are “culture-less tribals, head-hunters, that they eat wild animals,” etc. In short, there is a definite, palpable and unmistakably condescending attitude towards the people of North-East in the mainland. The general apathy and animosity sometimes manifests as hostility we see elsewhere.

Initially, when I was called a mainland Indian I was irked. Why should I be singled out? Are they not Indians? Soon, I realised there’s a Himalayan difference between ‘them’ and ‘us’. I experienced this the day I set my foot on Mizoram.  […]

While I am not surprised by my compatriots’ ability to fool others, I was touched by the sheer innocence of Mizos who never suspected such behaviour and would smilingly wave us away. Every time my friend laughs victoriously, I would burn inside. Is this the way of civilised people? Does being smart mean the ability to deceive others?

This is not to simply sing paeans to the Mizos. […]

(The writer, an assistant engineer at the DD Kendra, Chennai, can be contacted at sgmnse@yahoo.in)

Source: “My sweet memories of Mizos” by S. Gurumanickam, The Hindu, 12 August 2012
Address : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/article3755007.ece
Date Visited: 12 January 2022

“I would like to direct attention to the general approach when we encounter the ‘other’ – the question of our protocol, etiquette and attitude. In our eagerness to know we probably show a disregard to these civilities. We try to buy friendship for building up rapport; we try to intrude into others’ territory without being invited and carry presents that we perceive would be appreciated to assert our friendliness.” – Anthropologist R.K. Bhattacharya in “The Holistic Approach to Anthropology”

Learn more about India’s eight North Eastern states: The “Seven Sister States” & Sikkim

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Assam
  3. Manipur
  4. Meghalaya
  5. Mizoram
  6. Nagaland
  7. Tripura
  8. Sikkim

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