Archive for April, 2007

WHO ARE THE ZOMI?

The Generic Name
The term ‘Zomi’ meaning, ‘Zo People’ is derived from the generic name ‘Zo’, the progenitor of the Zomi. In the past they were little known by this racial nomenclature. They were known by the non-tribal plain peoples of Burma, Bangladesh and India as Chin, Kuki, or Lushai. Subsequently the British employed these terms to christen those ‘wild hill tribes’ living in the ‘un-administered area’, and was subsequently legalised to be the names for the newly adopted subjects by Queen Victoria of England. However, they called themselves Zomi since time immemorial. They are Zomi not because they live in the highlands or hills, but are Zomi and called themselves Zomi because they are the descendants of their great great ancestor, ‘Zo’. In this regards, F.K. Lehman, Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Illinois (USA), who had done extensive study on the Chin of Burma, said:
‘No single Chin word has explicit reference to all the peoples we customarily call Chin, but all – or nearly all of the peoples have a special word for themselves and those of their congeners with whom they are in regular contact. This word is almost always a variant form of a single root, which appears as Zo, Yo, Ysou, Shou and the like.’
Relating to this generic name, Fan-Cho a diplomat of the Tang dynasty of China, mentioned in 862 AD a Kingdom in the Chindwin Valley ‘whose Princes and Chiefs were called Shou (Zo)‘ . In 1783, Father Vincentius Sangermano in his book, ‘A Description of the Burmese Empire’ described them as, “a petty nation called JO (JAW)
Sir Henry Yule, as early as 1508 mentioned about the YO country the location of which was
west of the mouth of the Kyen-dwen (Chindwin) the interior of Doab, between the Irrawaddy and the Chindwin, from Mout-Shabo upwards and the whole of the hill country east and north-east of the capital, towards the Ruby-mines, the upper course of Hyitnge, and the Chinese frontier” .
Rev. Howard Malcolm also testified thus, “The YAW (ZO) is on the lower waters of the Khyendiwen (Chindwin) not far from Ava. The district is sometimes called YO or JO”.
Another early use of the name ZO with reference to the Zomi (Kuki-Chin-Lushai), the first on the Lushai Hills side which till then was a terra incognito, was by Col. T.H. Lewin, the first white man to know the inhabitants of Lushai Hills (Mizoram). He wrote that he came to know, during the Lushai Expedition of 1871-72 that, ‘the generic name of the whole nation is Dzo’ Dr. Francis Buchanan also wrote of Zomi and Zomi language , while Captain Pemberton mentioned Zo or Jo in his ‘Reports on the Eastern Frontiers of British India, 1835’. The fact that the Zomi were known as ZOU or YO or YAW, before their society evolved into clan based organisation and lineage segmentation, was pointed out by Dr. G.A. Grierson in his survey, thus,‘The name (Kuki and Chin) is not used by the tribes themselves, who use titles such as ZOU or YO or CHO’.
Rev Sukte T. Hau Go, a former lecturer of Mandalay University (Burma) also shared the same view,
“Zomi is the correct original historical name of our people, from the Naga hill to the Bay of Bengal. To the north of Tedim, the Thadous and other tribes call themselves Yo; in Falam, Laizo. The Tedim people call themselves Zo; the Lushais, Mizo; in Haka, Zotung, Zophei, Zokhua. In Gangaw area Zo is pronounced as YAW, in Mindat Jo or CHO; and in Paletwa Khomi. In Prome, Thayetmyo, Sandoway and Bassein areas they call themselves A-Sho. So, inspite of slight variations Zomi is our original historical national name “.
Regarding the truth of Zomi as the racial designation of the so-called Kuki-Chin people, U Thein Re Myint, a well known Burmese Writer, who knew Chin history, perhaps better than the Chin themselves remarks:
‘Even though these tribes of people, who are called Chin, do not necessarily protest their name, their original name is, in fact, Zomi ‘.
Two British administrators, Bertram S. Carey and H.N. Tuck who place Zo people under modern system of administration record as thus:
‘Those of the Kuki tribes which we designate as “Chins” do not recognise that name……they call themselves YO (ZO)…and YO (ZO) is the general name by which the Chins call their race’
Another European writer, Sir J. George Scott also claimed that, the Zomi never called themselves by such names as Kuki or Chin or Lushai. He wrote:
‘The names like Kuki and Chin are not national, and have been given to them by their neighbours. Like others, the people do not accept the name given by the Burmese and ourselves; they do not call themselves Chins, and they equally flout the name of Kuki which their Assamese neighbours use. They call themselves Zhou or Shu and in other parts Yo or Lai.
It is, therefore, no wonder that Zomi use the term Zo, Zou, Zhou, Chou, Shou, Yo, Jo, Yaw, Shu, etc in their speech and poetic language as Zo-Vontawi, Zo-lei, Zogam or Zoram, Zo-tui, Zo-fa, etc; in naming geographical names such as Zotlang, Zopui, Zobawks; and in some of the clan names like Zophei, Zotung, Zokhua, Laizo, Bawmzo, Zote, etc. All these have a common derivation from the generic name, “ZO”. It is also because of this fact that scholars like Dr. Vum Kho Hau, Prof. Laldena, Dr. Vum Son, Dr. Tualchin Neihsial, Dr. H. Kamkhenthang, Dr. Mangkhosat Kipgen, Cap. Sing Khaw Khai, Dr. J. M. Paupu, Pu K. Zawla, Pu R. Vanlawma, B. Langthanliana, Dr. V. Lunghnema, Dr. Hawlngam Haokip, Pu L. S. Gangte, Pu T. Gougin, Pu Thang Khan Gin Ngaihte, Rev. S. Prim Vaiphei, Rev. Khup Za Go, Pu L. Keivom, Rev. S. T. Hau Go, Dr. Khen Za Sian, Prof. Thang Za Tuan, Rev. Sing Ling etc. concluded that ZO is the ancestor of the Zo people (Zomi).
The Origin Of The Name
There are two views about the origin of the word, ‘ZO’. The first and most acceptable view is that Zo is a person whose descendants are called Zo-fate or Zo-suante. Some scholars like Pu Thawng Khaw Hau and Pu Captain K. A. Khup Za Thang presented the genealogical table of various Zomi clans in which they strongly claim that they are the descendants of Zo. Zo Khang Simna Laibu and Zo Suan Khang Simna Laibu (Genealogy of the Zo Race of Burma) cover extensively the genealogy of Zo people in Chin State as well as those living in Mizoram and Manipur. Dr. Vum Kho Hau and Dr. Vum Son trace all the Zomi lineal to Zo. Pu Dr. V. Lunghnema wrote the Genealogy of the Hmar tribes, a branch of the Zo family, and he identified Zo as the ancestor of the Hmar clan . This interpretation of the term ‘ZO’ is substantiated by the fact that Zomi have a tradition of naming their clans after the head of each clan, thereby, Hualngo, Zahao, Guite, Singsit, Sailo, etc clans carry each of their fore-father’s name. Likewise, it is logically true with Zo, Dzo or a very similar sounding one for the name of Zo as the founder of Zo people or Zomi. So, the word Zo is a generic name and Zomi is derived from the name of the ancestor with reference to his descendants.
The second view suggests that the term Zo might have been derived from the Zo King of the Zhou Dynasty (B.C. 1027-225) of China. The main argument in this regard is that in ancient times the names of the ruling dynasty became the identity for the subjects .Whatever differences of opinion there may be, regarding the origin of Zomi, there is ample historical evidence to support that they are Zomi from time immemorial, and lived together under the umbrella of one cultural unity of ancient Zo.
Meaning Of The Name
On the meaning of the term Zo, there are intellectuals who translate Zo as Highlanders. This translation of Zo as highland or cold region and subsequently Mizo or Zomi as highlanders or people of the hills is too simplistic and misleading, because the people called themselves Zomi when they lived in the plains of the Chindwin Valley and else where. The word ‘ZO’ or ‘Zo LO’ might mean highland or highland farms but not highlanders nor highland farmers. Pu R. Vanlawma, a veteran politician and a prolific writer of Mizoram has correctly advocated that,
‘It was not the people who derived their name ZO from the high altitude of their abode, but on the contrary it was the high lands and especially the farm lands there, called ‘Zo Lo’ which derived their name from the Zo people who cultivated the farms’
The generic name ‘ZO’ has no relation with the geographical-climatic term ‘Zo’ . As a matter of fact, Zo is a generic name whose word is of local origin and needs no further explanation, whereas ‘mi’ means man or people and there is no ambiguity about it. In this way of historical process, Zo people identified themselves with Zo and emerged as a race to be called ZOMI among mankind.
The Zomi are, therefore, those ethnic or linguistic, or cultural groupings of people who had commonly inherited the history, tradition and culture of Zo as their legacies, irrespective of the names given to them by outsiders.
Generic Name / Imposed Names
It is unfortunate and quite confusing for insiders as well as outsiders that the Zomi, who belong to the same racial stock, shared history, culture and traditions are recognised by different names : while the Burmese called them ‘Chin’ or ‘Khyan’, the Bengalis and others in India called them ‘Kuki’, with a variety of spellings. The British added a third name, Lushai, in the early 1870s to compound the confusion. However, key British Military Officers and Civil Administrators soon realized that the people whom they called by various names were the same people and that they should be dealt with as a single group. Thus, they began to refer to them by various hyphenated names, e.g. Chin-Lushai (A.S. Reid), Lusei-Kuki (J. Shakespear), Kuki-Chin (G.A. Grierson), and even a triple hyphenated form was used, eg. Kuki-Lushai-Chin (S. Fuchs).
What did they call themselves before terms like Kuki, Chin or Lushai were imposed upon them have been much discussed. For better understanding of our racial and national nomenclature, the origin and meaning of the imposed names may be discussed. Please click below links for further study:
Generic Name / Imposed Names : Chin
As already mentioned, in Burma the Zomi are known as Chin. It has since become a matter of great controversy how this terminology originated. In this respect many scholars advanced different theories. B. S. Carey and H. N. Tuck asserted it to be a Burmese corruption of the Chins word “Jin” or “Jen” which means man. Prof. F. K. Lehman was of the view that the term might be from the Burmese word ‘Khyan” which means ‘basket’, saying,
“The term ‘Chin’ is imprecise. It is a Burmese word (khyan), not a Chin Word. It is homologous with the contemporary Burmese word meaning basket”.
Implied thus is that the basket carrying inhabitants of the Chin Hills bordering the plain Burmans are Chin.
But according to Prof. G. H. Luce, an eminent scholar of the early Burmese history, the term “Chin” (khyan in old Burmese) was derived from the Burmese word meaning “ally” or “comrade” in describing the peaceful relationship which existed between the Chins and the Pagan Burman in their historical past. His interpretation was based on the thirteenth century Pagan inscription. However, the same inscription also revealed the controversial slave trade along the Chindwin River. However, in the year 1950 the Burmese Encyclopaedia defined Chin as “ally”.
This official publication was challenged by Pu Tanuang, an M.P. from Mindat (Chin State) in the Burmese Parliament. He criticized the Government for politicizing the name. The Revered S. T. Hau Go, a former lecturer of Mandalay University writes,
“Whatever it meant or means, however it originated and why, the obvious fact is that the appellation “Chin” is altogether foreign to us. We respond to it out of necessity. But we never appropriate it and never accept it and never use it to refer to ourselves. It is not only foreign but derogatory, for it has become more or less synonymous with being uncivilized, uncultured, backward, even foolish and silly. And when we consider such name calling applied to our people as “Chinbok” (stinking Chin) we cannot but interpret it as a direct and flagrant insult and the fact that we have some rotten friends”.
Whatever the case may be, from the above evidence it can be concluded that the word was coined by the Burmese and it was adopted by the British officials. Investigation and research, however, proves that such a word as “Chin” does not exist in the vocabulary of the Zomi. The people themselves do not use in their folksongs, poetry or language. Even today the name remains strange to the illiterate people of the countryside in the very region called Chin Hills in Burma.
Generic Name / Imposed Names : Kuki
Probably the first recorded used of the name “Kuki” appeared in the History of Tripura as early as 1512 AD . During the reign of Tripura Raja Dhanya Manikya (around 1490 AD), it was pointed out that, wild race called Kukees live Thannangchi Forest of Tripura. Yet the origin of the word itself is most obscure. The colonial historians divided the Zomi under two names, i.e. the “Kuki” and the “Lushai”. This was clearly demonstrated in the writing of Rawlins. In his paper published in the Asiatic Research Vol. II, p.12 he called the people “Cucis” or “Mountaineers from Tipra” by adopting the name used by the Bengali and Assamese when reffering to the Zomi of Chittagong Hill Trace and Tripura Hills. Colonel John Shakespear clubbed them together and called them “the Lushai-Kuki Clans”. He even included most of the hill tribes of the Lushai Hills, parts of Manipur, North Cachar Hills, and Tripura, who have the same cultural affinity, customs and mode of living. In this he was supported by the British statesmen, ethnographers and linguists. On the other hand, he was also fully aware that the words “Kuki” and “Lushai” were not accepted by the people to whom the name applied. In fact, there never was such a word as “Kuki” in the vocabulary of any of the Zomi dialects. It is neither a clan name nor family name. The Lushai too were averse to the name Kuki. In the meantime William Shaw wrote a book on the Thadou Kuki and he tried to put all the people of the group under the racial nomenclature of Thadou Kukis. All the other tribes, except the Thadou speaking and those willing to call themselves Kuki, do not accept it at all. It has instead now become a bone of contention among the two- the Thadou and the Kuki, which is exemplified by the existence of Association/ Organisations like KSO, TSA, TKSU, TTC, etc. It is known that they even submitted a memorandum to the Government of Manipur to ban the book.
The anti-Kuki stand of the various Tribes of Manipur was further strengthened by the resolution of a meeting held on the 26th June,1942 in which they expressed their desire not to identify themselves as Kuki.
Generic Name / Imposed Names : Lushai
The term Lushai, native ‘Lusei,’ is commonly used to refer to the Zomi of the Lushai Hills. It was Mr. Edger, the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar who first officially used the term “Lushai” instead of “Zomi” around the year 1897. It may be mentioned that the term may have been derived from the custom of certain tribes keeping their hair long and fastening it in a knot at the back of the head (Lu-head, shei-long i.e. keeping the head long or long head) .It could also have originated from the custom of head hunting (Lu=head, Shai=cut i.e. head cutting) . Such interpretations or fanciful explanations were not accepted by John Shakespear, the Superintendent of the Lushai Hills and an authority on the Lushai. He made it clear that “Lushai is our way of spelling the word, the proper way to spell the word, so as to represent the actual sound, as spoken by the people, is Lushei (Lusei). From this writer it is apparent that the word “Lushai” is derived from “Lusei”, the name of the most powerful dominating tribe of the Lushai Hills who rule under the title “Sailo”. However, the British later adopted “Lushai” as the official designation of all Zo people of the Lushai Hills. Then in the year 1946 the tribes of the Lushai Hills changed their nomenclature into Mizo. It was on the 9th of April, 1946 that the Mizo Union was founded at the Muallungthu (Lushai Hills) Conference. The primary object of the Mizo Union was to bring the Zo people under one nomenclature and when the British left their country to set up an independent state of the Zomi living in the Indo-Burma borderland.
Mizo and Zomi
Synonymously and literally, Zomi and Mizo are the same, having the etymological root, ‘Zo’. The term Mizo covers all Zo peoples as does Zomi according to their respective users. It is only a matter of pre-fixation and suffixation of ‘MI’, meaning man or people to ‘ZO’. If ‘MI’ is prefixed to Zo, we get Mizo, whereas if it is suffixed, we get ZOMI. According to K. Zawla, Mizo is a poetical form of Zomi. For instance, the accepted poetical expression for a barking deer and a hornbill will be Khisa and Phualva respectively, whereas their accepted non-poetical expressions are Sakhi and Vaphual. However, Zomi is more logical and is the right sequence of syllables, in contrast to Mizo. Because even the people who are more or less familiar with the word Mizo normally accept Zo-fa as the correct grammatical combination of the word when they wish to mean sons of Zoland. They do not say Fa-Zo poetically or literally. If ZOFA is deemed to be correct, Zomi should be deemed to be correct. Moreover, the term Zomi is much older than Mizo. Pu K. Zawla believes that the Zo people had called themselves ‘Zomi’ around the 14th century AD whereas ‘Mizo’ became the official name of the people of Mizoram in 1954 only when the Lushai Hills was changed to ‘Mizo Hills’.
Once Zo is accepted as the generic name of the so-called Kuki-Chin-Lushai people, affixing ‘MI’ to ‘ZO’ either as a prefix or suffix should no longer be a problem. The affix ‘mi’ was considered necessary only due to the earlier misinterpretation of the term ‘Zo’ as hill or highland. As the general population became aware of their progenitor, Zo the people may still be called ZOMI (Zo + People) or Mizo (People + Zo) and their country Zogam/Zoram. Even Mizoram is endearingly referred to as Zoram as in the Mizoram state song….. “Kan Zoram……” (Our Zoland).
In short, imposed names like Kuki, Chin, or Lushai which may have had derogatory origins have no acceptability for common nomenclature among the affected people themselves because they are:
Alien and imposed and not born of the people; If they have any intelligible meaning at all they incline to be on the abusive, unpalatable and derogatory side; Only popularly used by outsiders and have not taking root in the social fabric of the tribes themselves, and There has been a tendency to reserve these terms for a particular tribe or a dialectical group and not for all the tribes as their common name.
Adoption of Zomi Nomenclature
There is a clear consciousness among different sections of the people like students, cultural organisations, social units, church groups, political segments and various organisations about the absence of a popularly accepted nomenclature for the Chin-Kuki-Lushai people. One name after another was propounded but failed to get popular acceptance. This, inspite of the fact that they belong to the same ethnic group. So the terms, Kuki, Chin, or Lushai, or their combinations like Lusei-Kuki, Kuki-Chin, Kuki-Lusei-Chin or even acronyms like CHIKUMI( for Chin-Kuki-Mizo) or CHIKIM (for Chin-Kuki-Mizo) could not be firmly in the minds of the people, who intrinsically know that they are foreign terms having no meaning in any local dialects. Two wrongs or three wrongs can not make right. They cannot but help resist because they were imposed upon them by rulers and outsiders to be their identity, without their knowledge and readiness to accept them.
It is a fact of modern history that in the past Zo people identified themselves willy-nilly either as Chin or Kuki or Lushai in order to be accepted in Military services. Today things have changed. The search for an acceptable name that is not only popular, appropriate and meaningful but is the original name for a common identity of the Zo racial group ends with Zomi, after the progenitor, Zo.
The arguments for Zomi nomenclature have been dealt with extensively in the section on the generic name, and needs no further explanation. However, the manner in which Zomi gets maximum organisations pleading for its acceptance at various levels may be highlighted as under:
In Burma, a Committee was formed in 1953 to remove the existing confusion over names for a common racial nomenclature. After thorough research, the Committee realised that they were indeed descendants of Zo, and realised they had always called themselves – Zo, Yo, Yaw, Shou, Jo and the like from time immemorial. Thus, they unanimously recommended the term ‘Zomi’ for their racial nomenclature .This was subsequently adopted in a general meeting at Saikah village at Thantlang, Chin State (see documents). In 1983, after a gap of thirty years, the name Zomi was reviewed in a Convention held at Thantlang, where out of 434 delegates from different areas of the region, 424 voted in favour of the earlier 1953 recommendation . Today the term Zomi is widely used by various organisations like Zomi Baptist Conventions, Zomi Christian Literature Society, Zomi Baptist Press, Zomi Theological College, Rangoon University Zomi Students’ Association, Zomi Literature Upliftment Society, etc.
In 1988 the Burmese Government officially recognised the name Zomi as an ethnic group of the country, and formally accepted Zomi National Congress as a political party in Burma. In their proclamation, the Zomi National Congress wrote:
“We proclaim that the racial name ‘Chin’ should be done away with and Zou (Zo) must be re-instated to its proper place and status of racial identity.”
On the Indian administered areas, the Zo people rejected the name Lushai and changed it to Mizo (People + Zo) in the 1940s on realising the fact that their progenitor was Zo. All sections of Zomi were actively involved in Mizo Union movement at its initial stage. However, some sections gradually disassociated from the movement on the ground of linguistic imposition, and their suspicion was vindicated by the Peace Accord signed in 1988 which covered only Lushai speaking areas. Today Mizoram stands as one Zomi state within Zoland, the Zomi inhabited areas of the region.
In Manipur, the question of Zomi nomenclature was not an issue until the recent Kuki-Zomi conflict of 1997. In 1971, a political organisation called Zomi National Congress (ZNC) was formed at Daizang, Manipur. It was at the initiative of the party that the First World Zomi Convention was held at Champhai, Mizoram from May 19 -21, 1988. Thousands of delegates from around the world attended the Convention and declared that ‘the people of Zo ethnic group are descendants of one ancestor, Zo’. In early 1980s an awakening for common identity was aroused among Zomi intellectuals of Manipur. A wide ranging consultation was organised by Kuki-Chin Baptists Leaders during1981-83 .They published a book called, “In search of Identity” in which all the writers stressed on the homogeneous characteristics of the so-called Kuki-Chin-Lushai people, and recommended Zomi nomenclature. Dr H Kamkhenthang, the Editor of the booklet wrote thus:
“To me Zomi is an indigenous term having its own meaning to the people. This term remained buried in the stratum of socio-cultural layers of the people that is taking its own germination though retarded by the imposition of foreign terms to which the people respond externally.”
The Zomi Tribes, who are recognized by the Indian government under the Scheduled Tribes in India, would like to have a common nomenclature by which they should be known. Zomi being their original name, seven tribes from Manipur State – Gangte, Hmar, Paite, Simte, Tedim-Chin, Vaiphei, Zou adopted the name Zomi on June 26, 1993 at Pearsonmun, Churachandpur. One of the important resolutions reads thus:
“Common Identity: In the continuation of Zomi movement, the members felt the necessity of having a common identity with which all tribes can identify themselves without any reservation or hesitation for unity, solidarity and safety. The leaders present, therefore, adopted the name ZOMI for common identity which will take immediate effect from today.”
Today a large number of organisations have started in different parts of the world under the name Zomi viz. Zomi Christian Fellowship, Zomi Christian International, All Zomi Students’ Association, Zomi Welfare Society, Zomi Democratic Front, Zomi Christian Church, Zomi Inkuan, Zomi Nam Ni Magazine, Zomi Students’ Federation, Zomi Youth Association, Zomi Mothers’ Association, etc…Further more and more Zomi tribes realised the impropriety of calling themselves ‘Nation’ and while accepting Zomi as their national name effected a change in the naming of their tribe’s apex organisation, viz, Simte National Council was changed into Simte Tribe Council, Paite National Council to Paite Tribe Council, Gangte Tribes Union…..and more and more of such progressive changes are on the offerings among the tribes.
Thus, Zomi as the racial common nomenclature of all Zo descendants is an undeniable historical and anthropological fact. There is not an iota of bigotry when Zomi champion that ‘Zomi’ is the genuine national name of those who have been called Kuki-Chin-Lushai people by imposition. The remedy to having confusing names lies in calling ourselves Zomi, as Pu Dr. Vum Kho Hau, had pointed out:
“Had the word Kuki or Chin or Lushai been changed to ZOMI at that time, the right word for calling the various tribes and clans of the Zo race inhabiting the areas joining Burma, East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and Assam (India) would have been answered a long time ago.”
The era of truth and nationalism begin to dawn upon the Zomi. The name, Zomi, which remained inactive in the social, cultural layers and folksongs of the past, is now surfacing in the social, cultural, religious and political folds.
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The Chin-Kuki-Ethnic Dilemma: Search for an Appropriate Identity

Introduction:
An attempt is made in this paper at studying the early history of the tribal ethnic group—Kuki-Chin- Mizo. An attempt is also made to trace their original ethnic identity, especially in view of differing, and sometimes conflicting, interpretations of their past and present made by historians and social scientist. Like other hill tribes of the North East or elsewhere in the county, they too do not have any recorded history of their ancient past. When we know today and discuss in this paper is part of their memory and oral tradition, hundred down to them through word of mouth by their forefathers. ‘Folk tales legends and stories of struggles and movements etc. constitute one major source of their history.
The other major source of information about their past are the administrative reports and monographs published by British officers during the colonial rule. The colonial administrators met the people, fought battles against them and finally brought them under their rule. They introduced civil and military administration in these areas. Therefore, we read the history of the tribal peoples and learn about their ethnic identity from the British records. No doubt, these two major sources provide us with a good deal of information to construct the ancient history of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people. However, rigid scholars have questioned the validity of these sources of information and have opined that the early part of their history in shrouded in mystery.
ORIGIN OF THE CHIN-KUKI-MIZO
Scholars from the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group have recorded in their history that during the prehistoric period, they came out of a big stone cave, referred to alternatively as Chhinlung, Sinlung and Khul. In one way, they all claim that Sinlung was their original home. There are traditional songs composed after the name “Sinlung”. These songs also narrate the history and civilization of the people, which have passed from generation to generation. Because of limitations of space, we will not go into the details of these narratives.
The exact location of Sinlung is still debated. Dr. Lalrinwawia2 indicates that it is located in the province of Szechwan in China , between 10″ E and latitude 3″ N, on the bank of Yalung river, 5400 ft. above msl. Mr. Lalbiak Thanga, 3 the ex-Chief Secretary of Manipur, gives an altogether different version. He argues that ‘Chinlung’ referred not to a cave but rather to the name of a Chinese prince in China , and that the correct form of the word was CHINLUNG. Further, he goes on to state that Sinlung was the son of Hwang Ti of Chin Dynasty who built the great wall. Dr. B.N. Mullick,4 former Director, Intelligence Bureau of India, refers to an uninhabited territory, measuring about 16000 sq. miles, situated between north and south of Ladakh.
Through this land, one trade route via Kajihangar passes through ‘Shinlung’. If Shinglung is equated with Sinlung or Chinlung then it may be inferred that the location of this legendary cave is somewhere around the Ladakh region. On the whole, it is clear that no final conclusion can be derived at about the location of the legendary cave. Notwithstanding the controversy, all the tribes and clans within the Chin-Kuki-Mizo groups believe that it is this legendary cave, which is their original home and birthplace.
With regards to their racial origin, most people as well as scholars accept that they belong to the Mongolian race. The migration route the people took to reach their present habitat and their biological properties go on to support this view. In their long history, they did come in contact with people of different origins and were put under different systems of administration. Therefore the administrators and scholars have designated the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people with different names and have identified them mainly as Lusei and Kuki in India .
Scholars have identified them as ‘Khuongsai’ in Manipur, and as ‘Kuki’ in Assam , Nagaland and Tripura. As is usual, different neighbouring tribes are known by different local ethnic names, which have been used to build up and project their identity. As far as the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group is concerned, the people accept that they are one and the same race, having the same culture, tradition, customary practices including marriage and inheritance.
Now it is in order to discuss in brief the origin of the three ethnic names—Chin, Kuki and Mizo—separately and try to find out how they came to be coined to identify these people.
THE CHIN
Not enough evidence is available to trace the origin of the name ‘Chin’. It is perhaps a Burmese term as people inhabiting the Chin Hills in Burma ( Myanmar ) are identified as Chin and the British recorded this ethnic name to refer to these people. During the colonial rule, the Chin Hills Regulation was enacted in 1896, the provisions of which determined the Village and Provincial Administration in the region. Thus, the ethnic name became popular and widely accepted. Literally, ‘Chin’ means ‘little’ in one of the dialects spoken by the people. It also connotes an affectionate name given to daughters.
THE KUKI
The term ‘Kuki’ is a generic name. Some scholars have proposed that the term Kuki was applied by the Bengalis from Kachar, Tripura and Chittagong Hill Tract as well as by the Assamese in Brahmaputra Valley to identify the hills people. But, if we peep into their ancient history and their migration route to India from far east countries like Thailand, Burma and Vietnam; in fact, the term Kuki was coined to refer to these people long before they came in contact with the Bengalis or Assamese. Equally baseless is the proposition to categories these people as ‘old’ and ‘new’ Kuki. It is therefore necessary to adopt a holistic approach to truthfully understand the origin of the term and the people referred to.
Perhaps a more reliable source is in Col. James Shakespeare’ s account. 5 Shakespeare served in the Lusei hills from 1891 to 1905. He has meticulously recorded the customs, culture, and history of the Lusei as well as non-Lusei tribes, all of the same origin. While he does not refer to the Mizos as an ethnic group, he identifies a number of clans within the Lusei and non-Lusei groups. Till today, Shakespeare’ s account and classification have remained unchallenged.
THE MIZO
Literally, the term ‘Mizo’ is a compound, – ‘mi’ means ‘man’ or people and ‘zo’ means a cold place at a high altitude. According to such a literal interpretation, all people living in cold, hill regions should be addressed as ‘Mizos’. But, undoubtedly, the term Mizo refers to a particular group of ethnic people. Tuck and Carey 6 mention that the people preferred the terms Kuki or Chin when addressed in public, but in private discussions they often used the term ‘Mezo’. Given the language barrier between the Britishers and the local people, it is plausible that the terms ‘Mezo’ and ‘Mizo’ meant the same. I hold the opinion that there are some ethnic groups who address themselves as Mizo since long, in their own societies and outside the present state of Mizoram.
Today, it is widely accepted as a term with long historical background. Interestingly, in popular perception, the term is not exclusionist in the sense that it does not refer to any particular clan group in a restrictive way. Thus, it is widely believed that all the people who cook rice on three stone pillars. “Lungthu”, are all Mizo. More recently, some leaders from within the community have tried to replace ‘Mizo’ by ‘Zomi’, on the argument that ‘Zo’ should come first and ‘mi’ later. It does not make any substantive difference, the two terms, ‘Mizo’ and ‘Zomi’, may be taken to refer to the same people.
IN SEARCH OF ETHNIC UNITY
Here we briefly examine the historical move to project the term ‘Mizo’ as an ethnic identity marker. Soon after the end of the Second World War and on the eve of attaining independence, there was a spurt of hectic political activity in Mizoram. Then, the main issue before the people was to decide whether to join the Chin Hills in Burma , so that they might remain with their Chin ethnic brethren, or to opt for merger with India . For the first time in their history, the people of Mizoram formed a political organization known as “Mizo Union”, which held its first conference on the 9 April 1946 to discuss some important agenda.
The first item on the agenda was the abolition of the Chief’s rights and change of the name of Lusei Hills into Mizo Hills. The Lusei Hills District Council, created according to the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, took initiative to implement the (Moullungtha) resolutions passed in the Mizo Union Party. On the recommendations of the district Council, the Government Assam enacted two important legislations in 1954; the first was the Lusei Hill District (Acquisition of Chief Rights) Act, 1954, which came into force on 1 April 1954. The second was the Lusei Hill District (Change of Name) Act, 1954, (Act 18 of 1954), passed under an Act of Parliament. As per provisions of the second Act, the name of the district was changed to ‘Mizo District’ with effect from 29 April 1954.
These two Acts were the result of long public struggle and fulfilled the cherished dream of the people of Mizoram. It may be pointed out that the conferment of official status to the term “Mizo” not only provided an ethnic identity to the people, it also brought all clans and tribes of the same origin under one umbrella. The terms received widespread acceptance by sister ethnoses not only inside Mizoram but also by those residing outside, particularly in the Southern District (now Chura­chandpur) or Manipur and Zampui Hills in Tripura. Songs were composed and sung to suit the occasion and the spirit of the movement.
In the post-independence period, many political parties were formed, and all of them were seized with the questions of ethnic identity and unity. We may mention a few of them here. Mr. Vanlawma formed a political party, called the Mizo Union Council, with the main objective of bringing the entire Mizo people, scattered in India , Myanmar and East Pakistan ( Bangladesh ) tinder one administrative umbrella. Mr. Lalmawia formed another political party, the United Mizo Freedom Organisation (UMFO), with the objective of uniting with the Chin brothers in the Chin Hills in Burma . UMFO seems to have ignored the issue of unificating the Mizo people in Manipur, Tripura , Assam and Chittagong Hill tract of Bangladesh . Hence, the Mizo Union Party, the party in power in the then District Council, advocated the reunification of these people within the Indian Union.
The Khul Union, formed in Manipur in 1947-48, was another political organisation with the primary agenda of Mizo ethnic unification. The Union contested the first ever Assembly elections in the state and returned 5 candidates out of 7 seats contested. In the 1950s these people launched a political movement in Manipur, demanding the merger of their areas with Mizoram.
The Mizo National Famine Front Formed on 2 October 1961 under the leadership of Pu Late Laldenga, gave birth to the Mizo National Front (MNF), formed on 12 October 1962. The MNF spear­headed the demand for a Sovereign Greater Mizoram, to be organised on ethnic lines. The idea generated a great deal of enthusiasm and many public leaders as well as young boys and girls from inside and outside Mizoram joined the movement to fulfil the objectives of an independent Greater Mizoram. Many of the youth in fact took up armed struggle, raking positions in the war front from their jungle hideouts. A little later, in January 1965, an All Party Meeting was held at Churachandpur, the headquarters of South District of Manipur, under the initiative of the Mizo Union Party.
This meeting resolved to work for the creation of a Greater Mizoram/Kuki State, comprising all the Mizo-Kuki inhabited areas in the entire North Eastern region on ethnic considerations. About two decades later, the Champhai Conference in Mizoram held on 19-21 May 1988, aimed at the same objective of ethnic unification. The Conference was attended by many representatives from Manipur and other neighbouring states. The Zomi National Congress (ZNC) Declarations (No. 7/88), December 6 to 15, 1988, related to the same political movement in search of ethnic unity.
Going back to the 40s and 50s again, it is worth pointing out that when all the tribes in Northern India were silent and the leaders in the Indian sub-continent were divided with regard to the political strategy of the freedom movement, during and after the Second World War, the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people made a great contribution by joining hands with the Indian National Army, under the command of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Netaji came to North East India though Chin Hills and held several rounds of the talks with the chiefs and elders of the tribal groups. Subhas Chandra Bose came up to a small hamlet called Rengthai, close to Churachandpur town. He won the hearts of people during this visit. Thus, when the INA soldiers came to Manipur in 1944, these tribes joined hands with the INA. They had entered into some sort of mutual understanding with INA in respect of their political future at the end of the war.
But, following the defeat of the Axis at the end of the World War II and the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, their cherished dream and political aspirations for the future set up went in vain. There was no scope to revive the Treaty of Yandaboo, 1826 and no chance to reverse the course of history as two independent nations of India and Burma had been created by the Government of India Act, 1935. The Kabo valley, inhabited by these tribes, was included in Burma . Though throughout their modern history, the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people had valiantly challenged British authority (Lusei Expedition of 1871-72 in Mizoram and the Kuki Revolt in 1917-19 being the major examples), ultimately their political aspiration for ethnic reunification within one administrative umbrella met with great disappointment. The Independence Act, 1947 simply confirmed the territorial arrangement made by the Act of 1935.
By and large, all the political movement launched by this ethnic group had virtually the same objective. However, the movements failed for a member of various reasons. It is difficult to single out any one reason as the main impediment. However, it is my considered opinion that the emergence of the sovereign states of India , Burma and Bangladesh caused both administrative fragmentation and ethnic division of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people. It is clear that the then leadership could not appreciate the needs and aspirations of these people. For example, following partition, the whole of Chittagong Hill Tract went to Pakistan , by default. Most of the post-partition insurgency problems reflect the ignorance of the then leadership in respect of the Mongoloid people.
Now, the Chittagong Hill Tract has not only become the immediate sanctuary for most of the northeastern insurgent groups, but it has also created the Chakma-Hajong related problems. Most importantly, it has upset the social equilibrium of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo. Had the resolution passed by the Chin-Lusei Conference of Fort Williams in Calcutta, on 29 th January 1892, for bringing the whole tract of country inhabited by them under one administrative umbrella been implemented, the situation would have been quite different today.
DISTINCTIVENESS OF THE CHIN-KUKI-MIZO
THE CLAN SYSTEM
The clan system of Chin-Kuki-Mizo people is unique and is markedly different from other tribes in North-Eastern India. In most cases, the names of the different clans were derived from their progenitors forefathers. Inter-clan relationships can be used as the basis for determination of the family lines of the people. In fact, the clan system constitutes one of the most interesting and intriguing aspects of their history and society. There are a large number of clans within the Chin­Kuki-Mizo and, hence, it has not been possible to prepare an exhaustive list of the clans as yet. Consequently, members of the same clan/family can and do exercise their option for being identified as a Chin, Kuki or Mizo. Further, they also keep on changing their ethnic identity, according to their habitat.
Inter-marriages among the different clans within the Chin-Kuki­-Mizo group have been in practice, throughout the ages, without any restrictions whatsoever. Claims and counter-claims, including litigation, for exclusive ownership of some cultural items, such as the Puonlaisen, have surfaced only recently. Some scholars interpreted these as indicative of separate identities within the group. Mr. Nikhil Chakravarty, the noted journalist, was surprised to know that there were a many as sixty-eight different tribes. There might be some minor hick-ups among the clans. But, it is unfortunate that the point that these different clans are related to each other by blood and processes of historical evolutions is often missed by scholars not acquainted with the culture and history of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people.
The different clans are scattered all over the North Eastern region (Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura and Assam ) as well as the bordering states of Bangladesh and Myanmar . In fact, a majority of them have settled in Myanmar and far eastern countries. Pu Lalthanhira] a, the Chief Minister of Mizoram, in a discussion with the Sunday magazine of Gangtok, stated that more Mizos lived outside Mizoram than inside.9 Scattered all over the NE region and countries, through generations of settlement, they have been identified by neighbouring out-groups by different ethnic names. This in spite of the fact that the different clans have lived and mixed together in the same areas sunders the same system of administration, throughout the ages. Marriage and divorce, including other social practices are virtually uniform in their respective societies.
All clans within the Chin-Kuki-Mizo groups followed the patriarchy system and therefore men occupied a high position in their society. They took all the important decisions and were responsible for all family affairs. Recently their patriarchal system has undergone significant transformation whereby women have been accorded an important position in society and they have an equal say in the family. In fact, now the whole management of the household is in the hands of the women. They also equally participate in jhum cultivation, sowing seeds and weeding grass in the field. Of course, the practice of adopting names of their father’s clans continues. In terms of succession and inheritance also, the patriarchal system continues, though there is internal variation.
For some clans, the eldest son inherits the property of the family; in others it is the youngest son who has the right to succession and inheritance. In case of death, however, they follow uniform system of burial. After they embraced Christianity, the churches introduced more or less the same system. Though there are no restrictions for people belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group, they strictly prohibit the sharing of the burial ground with others. This aspect of their culture is deeply rooted in their history, and it goes on to show that they are the same people and their clan relationship is based on ethnic affinity through blood.
They introduced their own traditional institutions for village adminis­tration and, interestingly, the advent of the British consolidated and strengthened rather than weakening or disturbing, these Institutions.
For example, the Chin Hills Regulation of 1896 put the traditional village administration on a firm footing and clearly defined the areas of administration of the village and the provincial states. Thus, they were governed by the same customary practices and same procedures followed for trial of civil suits and criminal cases. They therefore can be best accommodated under the same set of laws and courts. The British colonial rulers understood this well and hence they treated the Chin-­Kuki-Mizo as one tribe under the Chin Hills Regulations of 1896, Clause 2(3). Though the term ‘Lusei’ figured, Mizo’ did not and the ‘Chin’ included Burmans domiciled in the Chin Hills and any person who had adopted the customs and language of the Chins.
SOCIETY AND CULTURE
A large number of other socio-cultural customs and practices may be mentioned. Some of these are common to other Northeastern tribes while some are unique to the group. We will make only passing reference to a few of them. A system of slavery existed among the Chin-Kuki­-Mizo since time immemorial, but it is no longer in vogue. Adoption through Saphun (a social system by which a family changes its clan affiliation) has been in practice throughout their history. For ‘Saphun’ it is not necessary to go to a court of law or a registration office; all that is required is to arrange a community feast and announce the adoption.
Like many other hill tribes, the Chin-Kuki-Mizo also has common places, which may be broadly equated with community halls and/or dormitories. The Garos call it the bachelor’s house; the Zemes call it Noktorong, while the Chin-Kuki-Mizo calls it ‘Zawlbuk’. The ‘Zawlbuk’ is an institution — it is the centre of most social activities. Further, these people practice intensive cultivation of tobacco in their jhum fields. Both males and females smoke tobacco. The men use a pipe called ‘Dumbel’ or ‘Vaibel’: the women use a special type of bamboo pipe, called ‘Tuibur’ that is fitted below with a small water container called ‘Tuiburtui’.
These people celebrate a number of festivals such as ‘Nim-Kut Pawlkut’, ‘Chapchar Kut’, ‘Thalfavangkut’ (the Autumn festival) and the like. The adoption of Christianity has not negatively affected the celebration of these festivals. In fact, THALFA VANGKUT continues to be celebrated in a big way, and all sections of the people participate in it. In Manipur, they have named it as the Chin-Kuki-Mizo Kut, which is grandly celebrated on the first of November every year. They have developed in into a most enjoyable occasion in which different cultural items such as dances, singing-competition and beauty contests are organised. Each year a new location is selected for the Kut festival and public leaders and government officials from both Manipur and Mizoram grace the occasions.
The Chin-Kuki-Mizo people are great lovers of music and songs. In all their villages one can find a number of musical instruments, both traditional and modern-western. Their sweet music and good voices charm the hills and mountains in the region. They are fond of dancing, particularly in social gatherings. They perform different dances or different occasions, or festivals and in honour of visiting dignitaries. They have hymnbooks containing songs to be sung to a specific tune. These songs are composed to suit different occasions. They singing in accompanied by beating of the traditional drum called Khuong made of wooden material and covered by animal skin. Khuong is found in all the villages inhabited by people of this ethnic group. Among dances, the most popular are the ‘Khal Lam’, ‘Cheraw Lam’, ‘Pheiphit Lam’ and the bamboo dance. The different dances are not exclusive in the sense that they are common to all the tribes and clans, and no one group can claim separate ownership.
Lastly, it may be mentioned that these people are experts in weaving. The ladies weave clothes of different designs and colour combinations. The important thing is that different clans wear different patterns of shawls, which serve as the immediate clan identity marker of the people. They also weave traditional dresses like Zakuolaisen and Hmaram, which are extremely popular among young girls who wear them on important occasions. Zakuolaisen is the most popular shawl pattern. Saipikhup is the name of another shawl decorated with beautiful designs and very popular among the Kukis, especially those living outside Mizoram.
During one of my Flights between Delhi and Guwahati, I came across a photo-reproduction of a gentleman from Mizoram wearing a Saipikhup shawl on the cover of Swagat magazine. The shawl was projected as Mizo Shawl, reflecting the ignorance of the out-groups. In Manipur, one finds different shawls of different designs among the different tribes and clans such as Aimol, Anal, Chiru, Chothe, Gangtc, Hmar, Kom, Koireng, Lamgang, Mating, Tarao, Paite, Simte, Vaiphei. The moot point is that the different designs of the shawls serve as identity markers and any confusion in this regard can create misunderstanding.
THE LANGUAGES OF CHIN-KUKI-MIZO
The language/dialect of issue relating to Chin-Kuki-Mizo people has been matter of controversy. The linguistic diversity of India is well known. Several scholars have said that if we travel on foot from one end of the country of the other, at every five kms., we would find a different language/dialect being used by the people. In spite of certain differences, we can say that the languages/dialects spoken by the Chin-­Kuki-Mizo people are closely related. The Tower of Babel legend is too well-known to be repeated here.
The Chin-Kuki-Mizo people do not have an original script of their own, Broadly speaking, we can divide them into two linguistic groups — the R group and the Non-R group. Let us take a few examples to explain this classification of R and Non-R Groups in the contexts of Mizoram and Manipur. Since they did not have a script of their own, they chose to adopt the Roman script, of the English alphabet variety of 24 letters. The Duhlien (Lusei) dialect was the first one to be codified by the British missionaries. They first translated the Bible into Lusei. This Dahlien/Lusei dialect is now known as Mizo language, perhaps the most popular and commonly used by these people. It serves as the lingua franca among the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people.
The maximum numbers of songs, including love songs, have been composed in Mizo and hence it is very popular among the youth. Thus Mizo has the potential to develop into a full-fledged, advanced link language. No doubt, there are internal differences with regard to the acceptance of Duhlien dialect as the Mizo language. But, it must be realised that the Mizo language (based on the Duhlien/Lusei dialect) only stands a good chance for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule, which would serve the interests of all the tribes within the Chin-Kuki-Mizo. There are many different clans, living in Chandel and South Manipur (Churachandpur) districts of Manipur, who speak dialects most of which belong to the Non-R group. These dialects are so closely related that in inter-clan, inter-tribe public gatherings they speak in their own respective dialects and yet there is no problem of communication.
In the written form as well the same holds true. In village meetings, the Secretary records the proceedings in his own dialect and reads them aloud for approval by the members. It is logical that the dialect/language spoken by the largest number of clans should be accepted and developed as the link language. In the present situation, the Kuki language stands the first chance to develop as the lingua franca as well as the literary language among the different clans in Manipur for the Non-R group.
MARRIAGE SYSTEM
The Chin-Kuki-Mizo people have a common marriage system. Boys pay the customary bride price for getting wives and there is no dowry system. In fact, boys having accepted a dowry and decorated their houses with materials brought by their wives are not held in respect in the society. With modernity, however, girls are allowed to bring with them some of their valued dresses, including daily garments. Since in terms of details the different clans have different customary practices we cannot provide an exhaustive account here.
Let us simply refer to the most common practice. Customary bride price is paid in both cash and kind. Marriages were normally arranged by relatives and parents by taking ‘Zu’ to the girl’s house. Since the advent of Christianity, this practice has been given up. Rather, the parents and/or relatives boil tealeaves in the house of the girl to initiate marital discussion and to finalise the details, including fixation of customary price. The customary price paid for a girl is generally shared by the close relations of her family. The traditional marriage system is a great virtue of the system.
NAMING SYSTEM
The naming system is important for clan-wise identification of a person. The name of a person is the most important clue to the person’s clan/ group identity. Mostly, the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people have avoided western names. Usually names are formed by taking parts of the parents or maternal uncles’ names or from the achievement of the family. However members of the Catholic Church usually have two names—an original ethnic name and the other a Catholic name. Sometimes the name of a child indicates the history of his/her family. But, under no circumstances do they adopt a Hindu name.
It may be passingly mentioned here that there is no caste system among the different clans of Chin-Kuki-Mizo people. All clans enjoy equal status within the group. The customary price paid for girls varies from clan to clan, but it is in no way indicative of the status of the clan.
TIlE JEWISH CONNECTION?
Recently, some historians have tried to connect the history of origin of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people with that of the Jews, claiming that the former are of Jewish origin—descendants of Manasse—one of the 12 children of Jacob. Jyoti Lal Choudhary” reported that Mrs. Zaithan Chhungi had brought out books in support of the claim that these people were descendants of the Jews. In fact, people who have advocated this theory or the racial claim belong to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group living in Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. In India these people are mostly known as Kukis or Mizos, regardless of their habitation but in terms of Jewish identity, they are put under one ethnic name, i.e. Israelis/ Jews.
While some families have already migrated to Israel , many more are still waiting for an appropriate opportunity. Clearly, this new development has created some ethnic dilemma within the group. Shifts in identity have been a continuous phenomenon among the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people. It is therefore extremely difficult to definitively determine the origin and history of these people. Hence, there is always confusion, of some kind or the other, among authors and scholars, in establishing their ethnic identity. Sunil Janah has included a number of photographs, in his recent hook, of various tribal people taken (luring his tour to Churachandpur in Manipur state. 12 Many of these photographs are captioned as Kuki-Naga women or Kuki-Naga girls. In fact, Janah identifies photos of Kuki girls and women as Naga women and girls. Given the current ethnic conflicts in Manipur. Such misrepresentations create further confusion and bitterness.
CONCLUDING REMARKS
I have attempted in this paper to highlight the ethnic identity and affinity of the Chin- Kuki-Mizo people. Though the discussion is not exhaustive, I hope I have been able to focus some important aspects. The work is essentially based on my personal experiences and my interaction with a number of social and religious leaders. I have taken up this work, not because I belong to this group or because I come from the northeast region, but because of my intense desire to enable this particular ethnic group to share our national glory and enrich our tradition of unity in diversity.
Following tremendous economic and technological development in Northeast India since Independence , there has been marked increases in interaction and inter-mixing among the people in this region. A number of Seminars and Conferences organised to bring together these people and scholars to discuss the various issues and problems facing them. Given great fluidity in the region, questions relating to ethnic identity, unity and affinity have assumed great importance.
On the basis of the foregoing information and discussion in this brief paper, I come to the conclusion that there is no necessity to continue the search for appropriate identity for the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people. It is quite clear these people are of the same origin, a based on blood-relationship, shared history and common socio-cultural traits, customary laws and rights and lastly by common biological physical features. They have a common clan system; the different clans are named after their progenitors and the super ordinate group name, Chin-Kuki-Mizo, covers all the clans within the group. Of course, it is next to impossible to identity members of different clans for independent inclusion under either Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribe. It is for this reason that a group of students and scholars have made a proposal to coin a new ethnic name ‘Chikim’ (Chin, Kuki, Mizo).

Distinctions based on clans as well seem to be disappearing, particularly among person who live outside the region and the elite section of the society. Further, while the terms Mizo and Kuki are most appropriate in Mizoram and Manipur respectively, Chin may be the preferred identity marker in international fora.

To sum up, the entire North-eastern region is identified as a paradise of research for historians, economists, sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists; it is equally a hot bed for politicians and an area where administrators are in great dilemma while working out suitable governmental schemes to suit the diverse cultures and social systems in the region. It is regrettable that even after 50 years of independence, we do not have enough historical and contemporary information about the North-eastern peoples, their societies and cultures.

Thus, they do not find appropriate place in books on Indian history and society used in our educational curricula. Sincere efforts therefore must be made to reconstruct Indian history, which must include the history of the peoples of the North Eastern region, dealing with their ethno-cultural aspects, their struggles and fight against colonial rule and their sacrifices as well as their human potential.

REFERENCES

1. Zou, Haosei, M. 1998. Chin-Kuki-Mizo Folk Tales, Aizawl.
2. Lalrinmawia, 1995. Mizoram History and Cultural Identity, Aizawl.
3. Thanga, L.B. ] 978. The Mizo-A Study in Social Personality , Aizawl.
4. Mullick, B.N. The Chinese Betrayal.
5. Shakespeare, J. 1912. The Lushai-Kuki Clans, London : McMillan & Co.
(Reprinted by Tribal Research Institute, Govt. of Mizoram, Aizawl, 1975.)
6. Tuck, H.W. and 13.S. Carey, 1976. The Chin Hills . Aizawl; KLM Private Limited (Reprinted from original of 1896).
7. Shakespeare, J. op. cit.
8. Chakravarty, Nikhil, 1995. Address at the Seminar on North-East region at 21st Century, Cowan.
9. Lalthanhawla’ s discussion with Sunday magazine, Gangtok.
10. John Luke and The Acts of Apostle (first translation of Bible into Lusei).
11. Choudhury, J.L. 1994. The Mizos Journey to Israel : Assert to the Promised Lord. The Sunday Sentinel , October 10, 1994.
12. Janab, Sunil. The Tribals of India . New Delhi : Oxford University Press.

Chawnglienthang Changsan, “The Chin-Kuki-Ethnic Dilemma: Search for an Appropriate Identity” in Dynamics of identity and Intergroup Relations in North-East India, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, 1999, pp. 230-244.

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THE ROLE OF YOUTHS IN METROPOLITAN CITIES TOWARDS REVIVING THE ZOGAM ECONOMY

Presented by Mr. T.Kaithang
On 27th January 2007.

(At the One Day Jubilee Motivational Seminar Organized by Zomi Christian Fellowship, Delhi, on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee)

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The Economic Times
New Delhi Thursday, 25 January 2007
In wild, Wild West, farmers wake up to e-magic
A Crop of NewGen Farmers in Kutch Brings Computer To The Field

Rajkot:. . . . .Rahul Gala, a 28-year old new age farmer. Back from Australia, where he completed his graduation in horticulture from Queensland, Gala grows dates with the help of computers.
….A few kilometers away, 25 year old Vimal Nisar has been growing mangoes by using modern horticulture methods. Nearby, another young farmer, Prakash Savla(28), grows aloe vera using scientific methods. The three represent a growing breed of confident youngsters who are not only willing to take up farming as a career, but are changing the rules of the game. . . . . . . . . . .


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1. Introduction:

The Indian Zo people comprising of Mizo or Zomi tribes dwell in the contiguous geographical areas falling within Mizoram, Manipuri, and parts of Nagaland and small pockets of Tripura States. For some reasons, the Zo people confine themselves to the rugged, mountainous regions and it is only recently that they have started coming down to the plains. Historically, it has been seen that those inhabitants of river valleys and coastal plains get the benefit of development in economic, social or other sectors faster than those living in the barely accessible mountainous terrains, as has been demonstrated quite clearly by the lack of development seen among the Zo people, and accounts for the reason why we lag so far behind even in the 21st century after the birth of Christ. For such laggards, catching up with others, and keeping up with them, is a big issue. Chronic lack of development is associated with problems of alienation, deprivation, poverty, crimes, diseases, etc. Hence, their relevance today.

A reference to the topic of our seminar will immediately bring us to the key words-Youth, Metropolitan Cities, and Restoration in the context of Zogam economy. While it is not my intention to define the terms, allow me to say that Youth would mean those from our own Zo background who have lived and imbibed the benefits of learning and experience that only urban, city background can provide. To me, Zogam would have to mean areas under occupation of the Zo people as discussed briefly above, since the same term does not find mention in any official world map and atlas published so far. Restoration would also mean more than merely getting back to whatever economic stature might have been presumed to be lost, but making positive gains in all economic parameters of development.

2. Development:

The question now is: What is development and what is the development we want for us? Broadly speaking, I would like to see a level of development that will ensure food security, acceptable health standards, employment opportunity for all (well, almost all anyway), intellectual and spiritual growth opportunities, transport & communication facilities, preservation of culture, etc. In order to achieve these ideals, let us try to examine what needs to be in place. The following points, and not necessarily in order of importance, I think, are important for our enlistment.

2.1 Transport & Communication:

Physical transport system forms the backbone of any development. Thus, roads, railways, shipping routes, and air routes combine to provide different modes of an integral transport and communication system. Although these modes of transport have been in existence for centuries in almost all parts of the world, for the world of Zo people, asking for even the most basic one, i.e. road communication, is akin to asking for the moon. While the country is talking of quadrilateral highway network spanning its length and breadth, restoring just one highway called the Tippaimukh Road stretching from Lamka to North Mizoram (hardly 300 km long) is a major challenge. Just how one good highway can transform the economy and lifestyle of the inhabitants has been seen earlier. We had been witnesses to trucks and buses trundling along carrying goods and passengers-increasing rural agricultural and non-agricultural production including related economic activities like roadside teashops and hotels. For many, the road provided the means for accessing many amenities, including health care facilities for treatment of illnesses at larger centres. However, all good things, especially in our Zo areas, usually had to come to an end too soon. The brisk agricultural activity again collapsed when the road collapsed because of disrepair. Naturally, this adverse development disrupted whatever little benefits people along the road may have had during its short-lived usefulness.

Emergence of the Guite Road-or Lamka-Sinzawl-Khawzawl-Aizawl Road as an alternative link to Mizoram boosted trade and agricultural activities, though not always quantifiable, in several areas. Despite its deplorable condition, the road has been a lifeline not only for moderate trade and commerce, but also for bridging the societies living in the two states of Manipur and Manipur. In fact, this road has proved to be a boon as it has often cushioned the economic impact that many bandhs called by bandh-crazy Manipuris organized. Thus, good roads are our basic need for development and are vital for bringing about transformation of the people. There is a report that the contractors did not use the large sum of money sanctioned and released for repairing the Tedim Road from Lamka to Singngat for the intended purpose. Such fund diversion, etc., can now come out in the open through invoking the RTI Act. This is where smart, intelligent, educated city youth should come in.

2.2. Another equally vital means of communication is the telecommunication system provided by the postal system and other wired or wireless systems. In an age when communication systems have become virtual and instantaneous, when telephones, faxes and the internet have now become by-word for many, Zo folks in the hills continue to rely on word-of-mouth messages or letters to be delivered by passing travelers. Imagine the frustration of the boy from one of the villages studying in, say New Delhi, having got used to mailing messages and graphics over the internet, who, on returning to his village has to fall back on the primitive methods! The contrast is too real when one comes face to face with the fact that even the village post office, euphemistically referred to as the BPO, is non-existent. Existence of such communication system would have made living in the interior Zo village more livable. One would like to see that all modes of communication-the postal system, the telephones, the electronic medium, and even Television- are extended to the Zo rural folks. These will bring about exchange of information, which, we all agree, will radically change the outlook of the villagers. I look to the youth to accelerate the process.

2.3. Formation of social capital-I use the term social capital rather loosely to mean the capacity of manpower available- is the beginning of creation of other forms of capital. This formation involves availability of educational institutions from primary level to XIIth standard, if not higher. Sadly, the position is alarming in the Zo inhabited areas of Manipur. Where there had been high schools catering to Xth class level earlier, these same institutions have simply collapsed for lack of teaching staff(teachers posted there simply refused to turn up) or the buildings alongwith the infrastructural facilities just rot(for lack of maintenance). In these places, some churches make valiant attempt to meet the needs without much success, as they are strapped for resources. Education brings along awareness among the people, which in turn transforms the economy and social life of the society. There can be no progress unless social capital is strengthened to meet and anticipate the ever-evolving needs of the people. I would strongly suggest that the educated among us go back to the rural sector- either on full time or part-time basis- to educate our new generation and prepare it for the future. The youth may consciously equip themselves in education courses, special education courses, technical courses, etc.

2.4. Our Zo people are faced with perpetual shortages. In the face of so many shortages, there is one thing that we have in abundance: land. In fact, vast land is available to us in such abundance that we do not know how to make use of it. The beauty of this abundant blessing is that land is not barren-it comes with rich variety of flora and fauna. Tragically, however, our people have wreaked havoc on this wealth of forest life through ignorance and greed. It is imperative that we take immediate steps to regenerate the forest. This will be different from shifting cultivation, but it will still be a shift called paradigm shift in our mindset and land use.

a). First, we need to realize that land and whatever lives on it belong to the community-the past, the present and the future generation-and that we are custodians to conserve but not to destroy. In fact, there is a recent positive development heard about the younger generation actually obtaining training in re-generation of land through scientific and systemic intervention. The mindset change should also accept the fact that our right over the land is inalienable. Land is our inheritance and not someone’s personal fiefdom. A landless man is lost. This should be the strong message for everyone. The second involves adoption of better cultivation technique that encourages conservation while giving profitable yield. This step may require us to re-examine our shifting cultivation method in favour of high yielding crops or animal husbandry. Again the need for new ideas from educated, trained youth.

b). The land and the thick jungle around our Zo villages, the lofty mountain peaks, the clear bubbling streams, the dark rivers, the clean breeze, the cascading waterfalls and the salubrious climatic condition offer one of the most attractive getaway options to city-bred people. This new yearning for outdoor activity among natural surrounding is now called eco-tourism. The day is not far off when our villages will host, hopefully, domestic and foreign tourists who are prepared to rough it out. This potential opens very many gainful employment (including self-employment) scopes in managing tourist lodges, providing guides, ferrying or transporting the tourists, etc. Can we prepare our people for the dawn of such a day?

2.5. Poverty and Ignorance usually go in hand since one is the product of the other. A consequence of this vicious cycle is the chronic dependence on the government. In our Zo context, we tend to view the local MLA or Minister as the representative of the Government and expect him/her to bring about an end to our economic miseries through grants, doles, subsidies or appointment to some government jobs. This expectation being habitual, our dependence on government becomes chronic. Thankfully, this trend is beginning to be reversed after well-meaning NGOs run by enlightened, educated, and city bred people begin to take initiatives for development of rural areas in right earnest. Many of these initiatives began small, but grew and enlarged rapidly in a few years. It is reported that quite a few have grown both in stature and size as to be recognized and consulted by the formal agencies. Some have even gone up to represent the NGO sector as members of high-powered national level committees. This is an area where the well-educated city-bred youth can venture into and make a difference in the lives of the marginalized people. Again, the precursor will have to be training in the appropriate fields. Can we look forward to the day when the representatives of Government come to our doorstep for favour(not for votes!) and not us going to them?

2.6. Deprived of the many conveniences of modern day life, including proper education, our folks in the interior continue to live primitive existence. To them, today is pretty much the same as the day just gone by, and the morrow does not promise anything remarkable either. Issues such as human rights, tribal right to forest, etc. have no relevance in their lives until or unless such laws suddenly impact their routine, mundane existence and bring about some kind of upheaval. As of now, we don’t see any form of advocacy carried out on behalf of their rights by anybody. Our Zo people need protection from all sorts of inroads into their legitimate and fundamental rights. Our Zo folks need some form of outlet to air their grievances. Our Zo community is in desperate need of informed representation to talk to and act on their behalf. It is, therefore, important for them to have on their side someone to speak and act for them and stand by them. This is a vacuum a city-bred, educated person can only perform.

2.7. One of the essential infrastructure facilities which collapsed in the interior is health-care. Until recently, there used to be basic medical facilities- a primary health centre, a dispensary, rural hospital, etc., manned by medicos. For some very strange reasons, such buildings have now become hollow structures and the manpower (including the female staff) are formally or informally stationed in relatively urban centres while people back in the villages suffer. Ironically, newly qualified medical people opt for the larger towns/cities for employment. There is now less number of qualified medical staff to serve the needy in the difficult interiors! The need is there in the villages. Can we think of trained people teaming up for charity work?

3. I have often been tempted to indulge in drawing comparison between our Zo folks living under the more caring Mizoram government and those under the utterly uncaring Manipur government. To any one who has passed through the Guite road from Manipur to its counterpart in Mizoram (or, vice versa), the contrast between the typical village on Manipur side and that of Mizoram is too striking to ignore. Mizoram boasts of better road, better dwelling houses, water supply, electricity connection (with power), schools, dispensaries, post offices, the works, against none of these in Manipur side. While our Mizoram folks can look to the Government (besides their heavenly Father) in critical times like, say, famine conditions, our Manipur Zo folks have only their heavenly Father to look up to. What I mean is that given the kind of government (or is it the government we deserve?), there is the more compelling reason for the well educated to play constructive roles in restoring and developing our rural economy. It is well known that our rural economy depends heavily on agriculture, and that too on paddy crop through shifting cultivation. The present day Zo farmer follows the same agricultural methods that his father did who also followed his father’s practices before him…. so on and on. The same kinds of crops have been grown, the same kinds of animals are reared, and in pretty much the same methods they were done hundreds, if not thousands, of years earlier. And why not since no one has come forward to show them better and more scientific methods of production? This is where the educated, smart guys from the cities come in.

3.1. Nearly the entire Zo population is ravenous non-vegetarian in eating habits. This habit is not going out of fashion for the next centuries unless we eat up all the animal supplies. This distant possibility should encourage some of us to think seriously on the lines of going commercial in animal rearing-piggery, poultry, cattle farming, fishery, duckery, etc., which will ensure meat, egg and milk supply to the towns. One may now think of a dog farm too seeing that dog meat has gained in popularity in some areas. Our Zo folks have all along been rearing animals for private consumption. Commercialization will become viable once the technical inputs are available from trained people. The business will also get a boost if support from insurance firms can provide the risk cover-again you need an insurance man who will bring the benefit of city training. There is a lighter side to all this business of meat eating: About 15 years back there actually was a businessman who lived in Kolkata engaged in collecting and shipping out the sexual organ of bulls because these were believed to act as aphrodisiacs.

3.2. In case one does not have the taste for living with animals, one can think of adopting horticulture on commercial line. Thanks to the improvement of transport facilities including regular air transport, there now exists scope for business in what was until recently considered exotic like floriculture. A good number of womenfolk in Mizoram have now taken up floriculture and are now doing profitable business because of patronage by the state government in the beginning. Flowers like anthurium, bird-of-paradise, roses, etc. are now readily available at flower shops in Aizawl. There are reports of such flowers being taken to flower markets in Kolkata and elsewhere. I am told that there is huge business potential in flower. One could think of taking up orchid farming as well. Of course, such things depend a great deal on penetrating the right market through good networking. This is where the city-bred youth with language proficiency and business acumen can step in for launching the business.

3.3. Horticulture provides a profitable alternative to the back-breaking agriculture that has been our mainstay in the Zo highlands for ages. While our people have gingerly started testing the waters, it is again the educated wise-in-the-ways-of-the- world youth who can really create business-like impact. One can think of fruits like apple, pineapple, oranges, passion fruit, banana, papaya, etc. that one can start growing in commercial scale. Besides we may think of rubber plantation, cardamom, chilly or other medicinal plants where tie-up with buyers may need to be made. Given the fact that land is available abundantly, there is immense scope is taking up horticulture. A forward integration in the form of a medium food processing plant will greatly add value to the planters/farmers’ labour.

3.4. Agriculture in the modern practice involves a lot of inputs that only appropriate training can inculcate. There are new practices like cold storage with minimum electric power supply for stocking perishable agri-products, there would be the distribution chains to be thought through, relationship building with government departments or input suppliers that a modern educated person can effectively carry out. There is also heavy mechanization in agricultural practices from tilling to harvest. There are seminars, meetings and trainings where a better educated person from urban background can be adept at. Thus, we see the city youth playing active role in transforming rural practices for the better.

4. It is a well-known fact that the process of urbanization is happening everywhere. The metamorphosis towards town status is evident all around us. What was a village earlier is slowly but surely becoming a town with amenities like electric power, piped water, tele-communication, transport, market places mushrooming. Such growth call for different set of skills previously thought superfluous in village life. Thus, one may see roadside auto-mechanic shops springing up, the hair saloon or beauty parlour making its presence, the plumber and the electrician being in great demand, the computer hardware or software guys or any other type of skill coming together to cater to the growing demands of the new township. All these skills can be had of through training with the respective centres in the metros or larger towns. Thus, one can see that the city youths can have definite advantage to come to the rural areas with their skills.

5. The image of the metro-bred youth coming home with weird looks, habits and inappropriate culture should be a thing of the past. There could have been instances of city-educated youth taking home inappropriate urban lifestyle back home and causing some social problems. It’s time we change that by taking home valuable lessons and use them constructively to restore and build up the economic, social, and spiritual life of the rural folk. After all, we are not Cain to say: Am I my brother’s keeper?

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A GLIMPSE OF ZO LANGUAGE AND SOME COGNATE LANGUAGES

Philip Thanglienmâng
Danics
B.E (Civil), M.A (Linguistics)

There are various linguistic realms/regions amongst the Kuki-Chin family of Tibeto-Burman race depending upon the spatial distribution of mores, cultures, and traditions. These are Zo realm, Simlam realm, Thado-Kuki realm, Paite realm, Vaiphei realm, Gangte realm, Mizo realm, Hmar realm, Khalkha realm, Falam realm, Haka realm, Siyang realm, and other related realms. This system of classification into various realms is not strictly rigid since there can be more or less realms or sub-realms. The Vaiphei, Gângte, Tedim-Chin, Paite, Mizo, Hmar realms may be classified as ‘K-ending’ group as a whole. Further amongst the K-ending groups there are ‘R-beginning ’ and ‘G-beginning’ groups. Zo (Hâidawi, Khodâi, Khuongnung/Simte) and Thado-Kuki may be classified as ‘H-ending’& ‘G beginning’ Groups. Other classifications can be such as ‘IA/UA and IE/UO sub-groups, Hing sub-groups, Hung sub-groups, Hong sub-groups, Hang sub-groups, Sih sub-groups and Kei sub-groups etc.

The Zo realm can be divided into 4(four) sub-realms viz; Hâidawi sub-realm, Khodâi sub-realm, Thangkhâl sub-realm, and Khuongnung sub-realm. Now, let us discuss them one by one in nutshell.

Hâidawi sub-realm is considered to be the oldest and the most ancient amongst the languages (dialects). It is believed to be the original stock (root) of Zo language and other Zo dialects as told by oral traditions by the elders. It is recognized by the frequent usages of Hang instead of Hing, Hung & Hong, Sih instead of Kei, Vang instead of Ning. Ha, hapi, hakie, hlakie instead of Kha, Khapi, Khakie, etc. Imploring word such as ‘Ei’ is used in ordinary speech and in poetic words in place of Hing or Ang. Vawi, vawng, ve’ng etc are employed in this sub-realm. The phoneme ‘HL’ of Zo (Hâidawi) is alveolar (tip of tongue touches backside of front teeth and the air is released) in sound which is pronounced somewhere in between the phonemes of Mizo ‘thla’ leh Thado-Kuki phoneme ‘lha’. It is allophone of form consonant ‘H’. It is rich in thrasonical songs, threnody, patriotic songs, and Romantic songs.

The Khodâi sub-realm is identified by mixture of above realms. It often employs the letter/phoneme ‘K’ at the end of a word such as tak in place of Tah, Sak in place of Sah etc. Hang or Ang is used in place of Hing, Hong, or Hung.

The Thangkhâl sub-realm relies heavily on the sounds of Hung instead of Hing, Kei instead of Sih, Ning in place of Vang, Ku’ng in place of Ka’ng, Nu’ng in place of Na’ng; Ni is used in place of Vai. Kha, Khapi, Khakie instead of Ha/Hla, Hlapi, Hlakie etc. This sub- realm is credited with many romantic folksongs. It seems to be admixture of Zo, Tedim-Chin, and Thado-Kuki realms; still it is classified under Zo realm because of its closeness to the Hâidawi and Khodâi sub-realms in using demonstrative pronouns.

The present Simte of India characterizes the Khuongnung sub-realm. Here Hung is used instead of Hing, Thian is used in place of Sien/Sian, Ning in place of Vang, Ni is employed in place of Vai. Chiah in place of Pei or pai. One distinctive feature of the Khuongnung realm is employment of words ending with the nasal stop ‘H’, invariably in most of the words, which are of course inflections from original words. In this realm, Tha (new) becomes Thah, Khangtha becomes Khangthah, da (sad) becomes dah, dangta (thirsty) becomes dangtah etc. It is seems to be admixtures of by Thado-Kuki realm,Lusei realm,Paite realm and Tedim-Chin realm the main base language being Zo.

The Simlam realm is represented by the Tedim/Tiddim-Chin culture. Here, the styles quite vary from the Hâidawi, Khodâi, and Thangkhâl. Ciah is used in place of Pai or Pei. Hong is employed in place of Hing; Kei is used in place of Sih. Almost all the words are glottal stop ‘K’ ending. It employs ‘C’ instead of ‘Ch’. Si in place of Shi. Ni is used in place of Vai of Zo realm. Ning is used in place of Vang, Vawng of Zo (Hâidawi). Ve ni is used in place of Va ui. It uses IA/UA system and so; Suak in place of Suoh. It is one of the closest realms with respect to Zo realm. The base language must have been Teizang dialect. It is also very rich in folksongs and modern songs. The real difference between Zo realm and Tedim-Chin realm is in the use of nasal ‘H’ and glottal stop ‘K’ respectively, otherwise their phonetics do not vary much in reality. The spelling conventions have altered most of its original phonic patterns for alteast a hundred year or so.

Paite realm and Tiddim-Chin realm are very close except for few differences in usage of spellings such as; Ch is used instead of C. Ou is used instead of O. ‘Shi’ is used in place of ‘Si’ of Tedim-Chin realm. Like Tedim-Chin and Zo (Hâidawi) sub-realm the word ‘Om’ is used instead of Um. Pai is employed in place of Pei of Zo (Hâidawi) or Ciah of Tedim-Chin. In some cases, R is used such as ‘rengreng,remna’ etc which must have been borrowed from Lusei(Lushai/Mizo) realm. It seems to be younger than the previous realm. It is very close to Zo realm in its poetical forms and modern songs.

In the Thado-Kuki realm in Sih inflected as Hih. T takes the form of Ch and so,Tun becomes Chun, Hing becomes Hin or Hung, Ta becomes Cha. Che or chieh is employed in place of Pei or pai or Chiah. Like Zo(Hâidawi) and Simte certain words end with nasal stop ‘H’and some words begin with phoneme ‘LH’. E.g; Lhâng,Gollhang,Lhapi,lhung etc. In some cases, S inflects into TH,and so Sing inflects to become Thing. In other cases, the phoneme T is inflected into CH. E.g; Têng–>(becomes)Chêng. The word ‘Om’ in Zo(Hâidawi)/Tedim/Paite becomes(inflects into) ‘Um’. This realm can be sub-classified as ‘IE’ /‘UO’ sub-group and ‘E’ /’O’ sub-group. Earlier,prints of Thado-Kuki song books i.e Lathah Bu(Palal Labu) uses the spelling ‘LEN’ in place of LIEN or LIAN. Sopi is used instead of Suopi or Suapi. Nom in place of Nuom or Nuam. The Suongmantam Dictionary and School Chapang Dictionary both in Thado-Kuki employs phonemes ‘IE’/’UO’ instead of ‘E’/‘O’. This realm is also very rich in folksongs and modern songs..

Lusei/Lushai realm,now also known as Mizo realm is not so rich in folksongs but it rich in Modern Christian Songs.It uses Chh in place of S, TH instead of S, O instead of OU, IA/UA in place of IE/UO. Around 1915 or so, the ‘IE/UO’ was used by the White rulers as given in ‘Gazetteer of Northern Lushai Hills’ by A.W.Davis,I.C.S,Political Agent of North Lushai Hills. When did the shifting of phonemes from IE/UO to IA/UA take place is not known. The symbol (^) was also in vogue. ‘An’ seems to be inflection of Zo(Hâidawi) word ‘Hang’. SUH seems to be inflection of SIH. It has influenced all the realms with these modern Christian songs since 1950s.

Hmar realm is very rich in folksongs.This realm is identified by the use of phoneme ‘R’ in place of ‘G’ as in Mizo realm. It employs phonemes ‘IE/UO’ in place of IA/UA as in Zo and Gângte. SIH seems to be inflected into Nawh/noh. Here also,the word ‘Hung’ is used in place of Hing,Hong, Hang. It has rich folktales and legends.

Vâiphei realm is admixture of many realms. Hing –>(becomes) Hung. Like, Zo(Hâidawi) the syllable/word ‘Ei’ is used in place Hung. T–>(becomes)Ch thus;Tun–>Chun,Ta–>Cha,Teng–>Cheng,Sih–>Puai. Here syllables ‘IA/UA’ are employed in place of syllables ‘IE/UO’ being similar to the Tedim-Chin,Mizo(Lusei),Paite realms. Just as as in Tedim-Chin,Paite,Gangte,Lusei leh Hmar realms some words ends with glottal stop ‘K’ Examples ‘zieh/jieh’.becomes ‘ziak . The demonstrative pronoun is written as ‘zia’. It seems to be complex mixture of Tedim-Chin,Thado-Kuki,Mizo(Lusei) and Zo realms.

Gângte realm is similar to Vâiphei realm and it is a mixture of many tongues. Here also,Hing becomes Hung or else ‘Ei’ as in Zo(Hâidawi). It possesses rich folktales of olden days. Ch is employed in place of T. Likewise; Tun–>(becomes)Chun, Ta–>Cha, Tem–>Chem, Teng–>Cheng, Tung–>Chung, Puai of Vâiphei becomes Puoi,it is used in place of Kei,Sih,Hih,Nawh/noh. Here syllables ‘IE/UO’ are employed in place of syllables ‘IA/UA’ being similar to the Zo and Hmar realms.As in the case of Tedim-Chin,PaiteVâiphei,Mizo(Lusei) and Hmar realms some words ends with ‘K’ Examples ‘zieh/jieh’.becomes ‘ziek . The demonstrative pronoun is written as ‘zie’. Compare with Vâiphei realm ‘zia’. It is rich in folktales,traditional songs as well as modern songs.

Lastly,considering all these linguistic realms, the Zo realm has its own uniqueness amongst all these realms. Because the demonstrative pronouns/adjectives and the adverbs of place in this realm is completely different from that of all the other realms. In all the other realms the demonstrative pronouns are;hi,hih,hiai,himi,he,hiche whereas in the Zo(Hâidawi) the demonstrative pronouns/adjectives are ; ‘ta,tam,tami,tammi’. For these reasons Zo realm is unique and it stands apart from all others in these respects,perhaps; a feature of its antiquity. The adverbs of place in other realms are; hiah,huah,huai ah,hu, but in Zo(Hâidawi) realm the adverbs of place are ; tan,tana,tanah,khunah,khum,khumnah.

In all these realms,the phonetics/phonology/phonic patterns do not vary much but due to the introduction of Whiteman’s system of orthography which did not consider the actual phonetics and sounds of the native speakers therefore,many of the words of the original mother tongues had suffered several phonetic changes;leading to further differentiations in terms of dialects(dialectical variations). Thus,leading to disintegration into ethnic groupings founded on the bases of dialects. Most of the inflections found in Zo language has been discontinued in other cognate languages such as Simte,Paite,Tedim-Chin,Gangte,Vaiphei etc. Perhaps,because of this reason, J.H Cope must had remarked that Zo tongue is not easy to learn. Therefore, Zo language is very difficult to learn as compared to other cognate languages. With the publications of the two versions of Holy Bibles viz; The Pasian Lai siengthou(Holy Bible in Zo 1983 A.D) and The Holy Bible in Zomi(1995) both of them became the springboards for the preservation and development of Zo/Zou literature in India and Burma(Myanmar).

The Zo tongue is gradually undergoing changes original phonic patterns especially in Lamka(Churachandpur district) all the same people still write in their mother tongue(basing The Holy Bible in Zo and The Holy Bible in Zomi) while recording or publishing books or in their daily writings.

Conclusion:

On the basis of the above analyses,we see several features of linguistic affinities and similarities of Zo language with respect to other cognate languages and there is high degree of mutual intelligibility amongst these cognate languages. It looks as if Zo language is the proto-language i.e stock/base language of these various cognate languages. The antiquity of Zo language is mentioned back to 850 A.D in some books. In course of spatial dispersion of the Zo people,this language must have suffered consonantal inflections and derivational changes leading to emergence of several dialects of the original Zo language. In fact,there are no vowel/phonemic changes observed in actual speech of native speakers,whatever vowel/phonemic changes we find today are the consequences of the adoption of Whiteman’s orthographies which did not analyse the phonology of native speakers in depth. Thus,the system of writing has changed the phonemes of some languages 1920s. These variations are bound to increase with the passing of time. Therefore,the real challenges are in the hands of our young generations who could do a lot of research to find out the real proto-language of all these cognate languages and try to evolve some kind of common system of writing for all of these cognate languages which is achievable if one has the will to do it in the spirit of give and take.

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Author:

  • The writer is a civil servant belonging to DANICS cadre in the Government of India,Ministry of Home Affairs. He is presently posted in the Union Territories of Daman and Diu. Prior to this,he was posted in Delhi from 1997 till 2005.
  • He has authored/compiled 5(five) books in one year(i.e 2006) they are; 1)Zo Lahâmtengte,Kigêntênate leh Kitêkâhnate Hâmbu vol.I(Dictionary of Zo poetic words,metaphors and similes Vol.I), 2)A Brief biography of Subedar Peter Thangkhokam 3)Ka hinkhuo tomkim by Mari Lienzanieng(compiled) 4)Ka Katekizam Masapên 5) Katholik Zailate leh Mass Lamzûina(compiled). He is doing his own amateur research on Zo language.

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Khristiante Leh Zuu


Written by: M. Khamlianlal Zou

Simtu iit, tami article na sim in Mangpa’n hing gualzawl hen!

I gam leh I minam sung I et leh tulai in Khristian hinkhuo zauta (liberal) mama hi. A khen chieng in bang tulai a I ngaidante uh adih hing bang deh deh zeel hi. Khristian tawndan Zaute (liberal) pen mi tampite ading in kipahna abang a, nuom zong sa ua, tuoleh pom bailam sa mama uhi. Hinanleh, tuni’n I ngaidante uh hoitah in Pasian dan toh en-tha lei ut huoi kasa hi. Adieh in I minam ki-ngahna Khangthate, Delhi leh Shillong, adang dng. a omte’n khual chien in, enpha vai.

Tulai issue lien khat ahileh atung a I mu bang un “Khristian leh Zuu” ahi. Khristian tampi te’n “Khristian hinkhuo a ZUU dawn pen bang ma khawhlou! A siengthou hi ” I chi uhi. Tami pen tuni’n hoitah in ngaituo pha vai. A dih ahi na diei?

Mi tampi te’n I suonlam uh ahileh:

Jesu’n Galilee a Cana khuo a moupawi ah Tui (Water) khu Zuu (Wine) suohsah hi. Pasian in bawn Tui khu Zuu asuohsah leh Zuu dawn pen selou hi, I chi uhi.
Sawltah Paul in Timothy kuungah “Na dam thei na’ng in Zuu neu nou nou dawn zel in” achi hi. Tuazie’n, eite’n Zuu I dawn pen selou hi, I chi kia leu leu uhi.

A daa huoi mama khat ahileh, Laisiengthou pen eite’n a khietna (meaning) dihtah tah I theisih ua, I ut bang bang un I let ua, I hei lamdang (compromise) uhi. Laisiengthou pen ei ut dan dan a peipi ding hilou in, nang Laisiengthou na gingtaat leh Laisiengthou gen bang a na om ding pen kuul leh poimaw zaw hi.

Tuni’n a tung a point 2(ni) I geente uh hilchien vai –

Jesu’n Galilee a Cana khua a mou pawi ah Tui (Water) khu Zuu (Wine) suohsah in bang sil atung ei? John 2:11 – “Tami pen Jesu sil lamdang bawl masa pen ahia, tami a pan I Pasian athupina ki lang a, A nuazuite’n gingta uhi.” (NASV) En-le chin, Jesu’n sil lamdang a bawl zieh in mite’n gingta uh chi I mu hi. Ahileh nang Zuu na dawn zieh in mi bang zaat in Pasian ginna a neilaw ei? I thei ding ahileh Pasian in bawl theilou neilou a, silzousie ahoinang in bawl thei hi. Pasian sil lamdang bawl pen nang mihing leltah in na geen ding omlou hi. U-nau, ngaitua tha in, na thei khiel hikha ding hi. Nang Jesu sil bawl enton a, Zuu dawn na hileh nang zong Jesu dan a ki ngai na mah? Khuchia nalung na gelleh Jesu sil lamdang bawl dangte bang chin na gel diei le? Thuhoi dang zui dinga agen te na zuikim nai? Ahilouleh Zuu a genna pen chauh ‘sumkuang chiengpe’ ding na mah? Paunate in “Little knowledge is dangerous” chi hi. Laisiangthou na thei tawm seng zieha a khietna (meaning) na theilou hikha ding hi. Laisiangthou a kal kal a simlou in a bawnpi in sim lechin na theina hing kikhel dinga, na hinkhuo ding in zong hoina hi ding hi.

Sawltah Paul in Timothy kung ah, “Na dam thei na’ng in Zuu neu nounou dawn zeel in” achi pen entha kie vai – I Tim 5: 23 – “Tui chauh na dawn pen tawp san inlen, hinanleh na sung adamthei na’ng in Zuu neu nounou dawn zel in” Tami thulu en-lei, Timothy in Zuu pen adu zieh a adawn hilou in, a dam thei na’ng a Paul in na dawn zeel in a chi hi zaw hi. Eite’n I dam thei na’ng ua I dawn uh hilou in I du zieh ua I dawn uh hizaw hi. A zieh ki khie e maw, lawm lawm!!! Sanggam, Satan in sil neu khat zanga ahing pui mang ding in na pammai taluo hi. Satan sol in om nonsin, Pasian lam hing nai zaw in.

Zuu dawn ahoi a I geel tah tah uleh tam anei a dohna te en vawi le –

1. Pastor leh Upa te’n bieh inn sung ah Zuu nam sa’n thu hing gen uleh bang ngaidan na nei diei?
2. A hoi ahi tah tah leh innsung ah Nu-le-Pa, U-le-Naute’n singpi dawn nonlou in Zuu dawn zel lei bang ngaidan na nei diei?
3. Na Nungahnu/ Tangvalpa, hinkhuo adiing a na deipen pen in na mai ah Zuu hing dawn henlen, hing kham ta leh bang ngaidan na nei diei le? Na kipah tah tah na diei?
4. Nu-le-Pa (Couple) Zuu dawn khawmte na ki pah pi ei le?
5. “Zuu dawn vai, a hoi hi” chin movement pan lei na ut na diei? Mite’n bang ngai dan a nei ding uai?

Tuazieh in, nang in bawn na lungsim sung tah tah, koima mu theilou sung a Zuu ahoi a na geel theilou leh bang ding a na du / kideh theilou zieh mai mai a Zuu ahoi hi na chi a hiei? Ki ngaitua tha in.

Laisiengthou pan in entha vai –

# Noah in leengga Zuu (grape wine) adawn zieh in melsietna tuohlaw a, a tapa Canaan haamsiet lawh in um hi. (Gen. 9:20-25)

# Kumpi Nebuchadnezzar tapa, Belshazzar in ann-zaluina ah Zuu adawn a, a’ng kham tah in a suahte kungah thu pie hi, A pa’n Jerusalem inn sung apat alahdoh sana noute (glass) khu Zuu dawn na’ng in zang hi. Tuazieh in Pasian lungthah na tuohlaw a, a lenggam taan law hi. (Dan.5:11-31).

Tuazieh in, Zuu in hoina saang in sietna tun zaw gige chi I mu hi. Tuni’n dawn siem, limit thei ki chi nanleh chin a tawpna pen siet na hi veve hi, Zuu enla leh tuo glass sunga luong suh va hieu enlahte ahileh atawpna ah guul in mi tuh bang in dawngawh va giep uhi. Tu’n na limit na thei nalai maithei a, sietna zong na bawl nailou maithei hi. Hinanleh bang tan na hoi zou tah tah na diei? II Tim. 2:16, “Leitung sil te, sil mothuoite tawpsan in, tuate’n Pasian a pan in hing gamla sah hi” chi hi. Sanggam, bangma a na gellou vang in na Zuu dawn in Pasian a pan ahing gamla sah hilou a mah? Bang tan nang le nang ki sol a, Zuu dawn sa a Pasian bie bie ding na diei? Ki ngaitua tha in. Ni khat ni chieng in tunia na lunggel in siemmaw hing tan ding hi. (Phil 3:15).

Pasian in nang hing iit a, a siengthou ding in hing dei hi. Na tahsa khu Pasian biehinn ahi chi gel tha in (Rome 12:1-2). Leitung sil a na lung na ngah laisie Pasian pen da a kap kap ahi chi thei in. Tuni’n I nam sung mai mai enlei Zuu zieh a sietna tung teng mai mai zong pilna tham hita tham hi. Zuu zieh a I nam sung leh inn-sung tampite asiet zong na mu nua a, Zuu dawn hoi na chi na lai lai le vang, Zoudawn a daahdoh zou nailou khat nahi kha diing hi.

Tulai mi tampi’n I pansan zeel uh, “Mihing kam a luut in silsie bang ma bawllou a, a pawt pen hizaw” I chi uhi. (Matt. 15:11). A dih hi… tami na chi le zong a dih hi. Rome 14:14 ah, “Hinanleh ke’n Jesu Khrist pan in sil sienglou bangma omlou hi chi ka thei hi, ahivang in mi khatin a lunggeel ah hoilou a ageel leh tuami pen sil sienglou hi mai hi.” achi hi. Tualeh Rome 14:23, “Ginna a hing kipanlou sil khat pou pou pen khelna ahi” achi hi.

Tuni’n ngaitua vawi – Zuu na dawn khu ginna a hing kipan a diei? Hoi sa tah tah a na dawn ahi nai? Na lunggel pen nang ma bou in na thei ahia, nang maw na ki puah ding ahi. Ahivang in na thei ding khat ahileh Pasian in na ngaituana teng athei hi.

Tam a nuai a BIBLE taangte Pansan in kikum vai –

# Zuu in mi adawnkhaw vagiep a, zuu kham pen mitoh kihau kikawhna ahi; koi hinanleh zuu in apuisiet pouma mipil ahisih hi. (Paunahte 20:1).

# Pawlpi lamkai leh upa diing khu …… zuu dawnlou mi ahi diing ahi. (I Tim. 3:3)

# ……… koi hinanleh zuu hai zousie ahau ngei vawtsih diing hi. (Paunahte 21:17).

# Zuu haite lah ah kihal sin len …………………………….. ( Paunahte 23:20).

# Prov 23:29-35, 29 Koi e vangsieh kisa? Koi e adaah? Koi e aki haau a ki kawh? Koi e a guuitam? Azieh neiloupi a liem koi ahei? Amit san giegua koi ahei? 30 Zuu dawnkaal ngahlaahte ahi ua, zuu chie chiem nuomte ahi uhi. 31 Zuu san ngiungeu nou sunga de kilkel leh aluong suh va hieu khu enlaah sin. 32 Atawpna ah guul bangin mi atu vagiep hi, tuo leh guulsum bang in mi atu hi. 33 Na mit tegel in sil lamdang tuomtuom namu diinga, tuoleh na lungsim in tahleehna nasuokhe kha diing hi. 34 Tui suogiet laikim a lum na bang diinga, khuom dawn a lum in naki ngaisun kon diing hi. 35 “Kei ahing saatthop ua ka liemtuom sih hi, kei ahin vuo ua lah ka khophawh tuomsih hi. Bang chi chieng’n ka khanglou diei I zaw? Ka dawnkieh diing suibeeh vang e” na chi diing hi”.

U-Nau, tami Laisiengthou sunga taangte’n ahing hilchien ding ka gingta hi. Na lung taah sah nawnsin. Tuni’a na kisieh utlou leh zong Khristiante diing in Zuu dawn pen a hoi hi ana chi nawn da in. Na du a na ngawl zoulou leh zong mite kung ah Laisiengthou in Zuu dawn pen aphal hi ana chi nawn da in. Aziehpen, Pasian in A tate siengthou ding in dei hi.

A tawpna ah, I nam sung pen Zuu ahoilou a gel Nam ahizieh in ‘Gingtute’ mai a Zuu na dawn pen sil hoi hilou hi. Laisiengthou in “Na sanggampa ginna buoisah ding in bang ma bawl sin” a chi hi. Na hinkhuo pen nang thu hi in na gel maithei a, hinanleh a nei tah tah pen Pasian hi veve hi. Eccl.11:9, “Khangdawng pa aw, hoi na sah na leh na ut bang bang in om in, hinanleh tuate’n thukhenna (judgement) hing tun ding ahi chi thei in.” achi hi. Tuazieh in sanggam, nang thu ahi. Hinanleh tami thu ngaitua pha kia in aw!!!

Pu Zamkholien in pawna tah leh mittui-naptui luong zeen ana gel:


“Bang chi’n ma chieng I suon diei? Bang chi’n paah bang I luun diei? Zuu-le-sa, khamthei toh I buol leng leh… Mite khang aw kikhel in naubang in a nui ta uh…Eite’n zong ning Zuu, khamthei I hamsiet ding… “. Bang tan vei ki buol a bang tan vei thaam den di I tadiei… ?

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Overview of abortion: An unsolvable dilemma?


Definition of terms: Most web sites that deal with abortion do not pre-define their terms. This is important, because
many conservative Christians and pro-lifers often assign unique meanings to common words and terms that are not shared by other people and groups. The three key terms that we use throughout this series of essays are:

“Life:” Any form of living animal or vegetable.
“Human life:” Any living entity containing human DNA. A spermatozoa, ovum, pre-embryo, embryo, fetus, newborn, and infant are different forms of human life. However, they are not all considered to have equal value.
“Human person” This is a form of human life which is considered to be a person whose life and health should be protected. No consensus exists about when this state begins. Many pro-lifers say it happens at or very shortly after conception, when a human life with a unique DNA begins. Many pro-choicers say that it happens later in gestation; some believe that personhood only begins after birth when the newborn is breathing on its own.
What is the question?: There are really two, different, very controversial abortion questions:
What is the best (or least awful) option in a specific situation? If a woman finds herself pregnant, and does not want to be, what is the best (or least worst) solution for her, the potential newborn that she is carrying, and all the other people involved — including her boyfriend or husband and their families? 1) To take no action, have the baby, and raise it herself (hopefully with support from others).2) To take no action, give birth, and give the baby up for adoption.3) To have an abortion and terminate the pregnancy.
Should the state overrule the woman’s or couple’s decision? If a woman finds herself pregnant, discusses her options with her physician, perhaps her spiritual counselor, and other people involved, and decides to have an abortion, should the state override her decision? That is, should the state have a policy of enforced parenthood for all or most pregnant women?
The first decision is a personal one, between the woman, her physician and/or counselor. The second decision was answered by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Since that ruling, women have had the right to obtain an early abortion. She also has the right to have a later abortion if it is needed for health reasons. It is in this area of abortion access that there is a great deal of political activity, at least in the U.S. Many states are passing laws which would criminalize almost all abortions. Their apparent motivation is to force the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade and perhaps reverse their decision.
How often are abortions performed: In the United States, women choose to end about 25% of their pregnancies through abortion.
1. This number has been gradually declining since 1979. This is similar to the Canadian figure of 21%,
2. but is much lower than that of the former Soviet Union (60%) and Romania (78%) where contraceptives remain in short supply.
3. Opposing beliefs about when human personhood starts: Many, but not all, pro-lifers and pro-choicers believe that once

human personhood starts — i.e. when human life becomes a human person — the person’s life must be protected. Many religions, organizations and individuals have passionately held conflicting beliefs about when this happens. This naturally leads to opposing beliefs about when and under what conditions the state should intrude and deny a woman access to abortion.

To many, if not most, pro-lifers,

human personhood begins at the instant of conception. Thus, they view each abortion as a form of murder. They often support this argument by noting that, at conception, a human life with its own unique DNA comes into being. The platform of the Constitution Party expresses this clearly. It “….is the only national political party that advocates a 100%, no-exceptions pro-life position in its platform. The Constitution Party platform states, ‘The pre-born child, whose life begins at fertilization, is a human being created in God’s image. The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. It is, therefore, the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of the pre-born’.” 8,9 Many pro-lifers generally view an abortion clinic as a place where babies are murdered. Some pro-life groups and individuals have considered abortion clinics the ethical equivalent of a Nazi death camp.

To many pro-choicers, human personhood begins later in gestation or at birth. They note that a pre-embryo — a just-fertilized ovum — consists of a simple grouping of undifferentiated cells. The pre-embryo has no human shape, skin, brain, or other organs; it cannot sense the environment; it has no brain; it is not sentient; it is not conscious. Carl Sagan wrote an essay supporting this position.
4. The pro-life and pro-choice movements: These two groups differ about abortion access. Generally speaking:
Pro-lifers feel that abortion access should be restricted to special cases, or prohibited completely. Many are motivated by a belief that human personhood begins at conception. Thus, an abortion murders a baby.
Pro-choicers believe that each woman should be relatively free to follow their own ethical beliefs concerning the termination or continuation of a pregnancy. Many recognize that there is a diversity of beliefs about abortion access, and that the state should not attempt to enforce a common belief system on all pregnant women. Many pro-choicers believe that human personhood begins later in pregnancy.
Both groups would like to see a reduction in the number of abortions performed. Many pro-choicers promote support services for women in crisis pregnancies and/or seek legal restrictions on abortion access. Many pro-choicers promote better comprehensive birth control education in schools and greater access to contraceptives.The groups find it difficult to cooperate. They expend enormous energy fighting each other. If they were able to collaborate, they could make major reductions in the abortion rate, perhaps lowering it below the rate of most other developed countries. Within each movement there is a range of beliefs concerning restrictions on abortion, as described below.
Conflicting beliefs about abortion access: In spite of what the media might imply, there are not just two conflicting positions on abortion access — pro-life and pro-choice. There is a spectrum of beliefs.
A small minority of the public believes that a woman should be free to terminate her pregnancy at any stage and for any reason that she feels to be valid.
Some feel that she should be able to choose to terminate the life of the pre-embryo, embryo or fetus for any reason before a certain point in gestation. This might be before:
26 weeks gestation — the point when higher functions of the the fetus’ brain are first activated and the fetus becomes a sentient being and is able to sense its surroundings, or
Quickening, or
It begins to look human, or
It loses its tail and gill slits, or
Its heart begins beating, or
The pre-embryo becomes attached to the inner lining of the woman’s uterus.
Some would only allow legal abortions in one or more of the following situations:
If an abortion is needed to save the life of the woman, or
To prevent the woman from experiencing permanent disability, or
To prevent the woman having serious health problems.
When the fetus is so malformed that it will only live a matter of hours after birth.
When the fetus has a chromosome abnormality — e.g. those that cause Down Syndrome.
Where the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
A small minority believe that all abortions should be banned, even if needed to save the life of the mother.
We feel that it is naive for the media to imply that there is a unity of belief within the pro-life and within the pro-choice movements.
Status:
In the U.S., the pro-life and pro-choice movements are both powerful and active. Pro-life groups are particularly active at the state level and have successfully influenced legislators and governors into creating many laws that restrict abortion. Many of the laws have been ineffectual; they are so broadly worded that court injunctions suspend them shortly after having been signed into law. Courts often find that these laws are so vaguely worded that physicians are unable to determine whether a specific act is allowed or prohibited. Those laws which survive court challenges are not particularly effective; they often merely have the effect of deflecting abortion seekers to nearby states. Approval of the drug

RU-486 has forever change abortion in America. Doctors are now able to prescribe the pills and women may be able to take the pill at their homes. Rural women will not have to drive long distances to abortion clinics; women will not have to run the gauntlet of abortion protestors.

In Canada, the pro-life movement has lost most of its funding after some groups started to harass abortion providers in the vicinity of their homes. This also terrorized the families and neighbors of the providers. During the late 1990’s, two Canadian pro-life groups lost their charitable status with Revenue Canada because of excessive political activity. Abortion protests now fail to attract large numbers of supporters. The groups now do little more than conduct candlelight vigils, and issue press releases. With the exception of news about attacks by a lone, anti-abortion, “November 11th” assassin, abortion rarely is discussed in the media. The country does not even have a law to regulate abortions.

The law elsewhere in Europe:

· Italy: Abortion on demand is legal until the end of the 12th week. This law was introduced in 1978 and backed by a referendum in 1981.
· Ireland: A referendum in 1993 voted to keep abortion illegal, though it made it legal for the first time to travel abroad to have an abortion.
· Poland: For many years, abortion on demand was legal, but in 1993 the country outlawed abortion for all but strict medical reasons. In 1996, the Polish parliament passed a slightly more liberal law, but this was deemed unconstitutional by the high court.
· Spain: Abortion is legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape, foetal abnormality, or risk to the pregnant woman’s life or mental heath, according to a 1985 law
· United Kingdom: Abortion is legal in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, according to a law introduced in 1967, but only in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland, the 1967 law never came into force, so abortion is still not legal, though no law specifically prohibits it.
· Switzerland: Abortion is illegal, unless the life of the pregnant woman is in danger.
· Germany: Legal on condition that the woman has consulted a recognised counsellor.
· Sweden: Abortion is legal.
· Denmark: Abortion is legal until the 12th week of pregnancy.
· Romania: Abortion is legal until the 12th week of pregnancy.

References:

1. American statistics are listed by Baptists for Life, Inc. at:

http://www.bfl.org/stats
2. Canadian statistics are listed by Action Life (Ottawa) Inc. at:
http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/
3. Bob Enyart is an extremely conservative talk show host. He has a “Bob Enyart Live Abortion Clock” on his web site. It lists the total number of legal abortions that have been performed since 1973. See: http://www.enyart.com/
4. Carl Sagan, “Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium: Chapter 15” Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store Chapter 15 has been reprinted at: http://www.2think.org/
5. S. Boyd, “Give us liberty: The approval of RU-486 isn’t about morals, it’s about options,” Salon.com at: http://www.salon.com/ (This may be a temporary posting)
6. A.T. Hyman, “The ‘A’ Word.” This is an essay on the legal aspects of the abortion debate. See:
http://members.aol.com/
7. Nellie Gray, president of March for Life, at the 28th annual March for Life, 2001-JAN-22.
8. “Constitution Party supports statewide abortion ban,” Stop Abortion in Ohio, undated, at:
http://www.ohioabortionban.com/
9. “Sanctity of Life,” Platform, Constitution Party at:
http://www.constitutionparty.com/
10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/121970.stm

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Total Literacy Mission 2020 in the Zou Community

KHOVEL MUN TUAMTUAM a um Zou kampau-ten Zou Workshop forum [on-line] tungtawn in mimal leh minam khantouna toh kisai lunghimawna thute ka kikum zing ua, khantouna di’a kisam tampi te lah ah, Total Literacy ah kipan masaleh lamzang pen di’n gintatna thupi tah ka nei uhi. Zou mipite apat panpina (support) a kimu thei leh, tam Literacy Mission pen kum 2020 chieng a suhpiching di’a lamet ahi. Tu 21st century hun ah, Zou tate pen mi “madel” (nuadel hilou) a pan ding ahita chi deithusam khanglai ten ka nei uhi.

Zawnna(Poverty) pen ibul sui leh sum neilou zieh maimai sang in, laithei louna (illiteracy) leh mawlna toh kitanau ahi uh chi mukhiah ahi. Zou laukha a pallun theina di’n Total Literary Mission pen khutlai poimaw khat ahi. Tami Mission pichinna di’n Sunday School, Mission skul leh LP/JB oja-te ban ah, Zou sung a organization tuamtuam – UZO, ZLS, ZSP, ZYO, etc. ten mawpuahna lianpi anei uhi. Kum 2020 chieng a Zou te’n Total Literacy lawchinna lungdam pawi akilop theina di’n, kilawp tah a aneu-alian pankhawm kisam hi. Kum 2020 tan a i motto uh tami hihen: “Laithei lou, minam samsietna ahi!” Tami Literacy Mission pichin theina di’n Zou Workshop member-ten ngetna (appeal) tam anuai abang ka hing bawl uhi:

1. Skul oja-te kung a ngetna: Zou sung a Total Literacy umtheina di’a “agent” poimo penpen ka sui lai un, Zodawn a koima theikha lou a nasem Mission oja-te ahi uh chi ka theikhia uhi. Solkal skul nasan um louna mun a nasem mission skul oja-te pen minam khantouna palai (ambassador) ahi uh chi ka gingta uhi. Tualeh LP leh JB oja-te um lou a Total Literacy 2020 tan a pichin sahdan ding lampi hamsa mama hi. Tu-le-tu dinmun ah Zou khua a LP/JB oja khenkhat a post a um lou uh chi report ka za uhi. Solkal oja-te zong Zou momnou tampite maban keemtu ahi uhi. Tualeh solkar leh mission oja tampi Zodawn posting na mun a gin-um tah a sem tampi a um a, tami nasem ginumte zong missionary poimo ahi uh chi ka gen ut uhi. Oja ginum ten maban ah minam tawisanna – Best Teacher Award leh Citation – bang muthei ta uleh dei huai hi. Tualeh Zou kual a solkar skul leh mission skul tengteng atuam apai a ngaisut nonlou a, a fel thei pen leh lawching thei pen di’a “coordination scheme” hoitah siamtha ding deina in, joint workshop khat nei khawm uleh chi ngetna ka bawl uhi.

2. Sunde Skul vaisaite kung a ngetna: Sunde Skul chiindan England a ahing khanlet apat Pasian thu leh laisim-laigelh dan (literacy) kisinsahna toh kizopkhawm zing hi. I innveng Mizoram ten zong tuabang in na bawl ngai tham uhi. Tualeh Zou sung a Sunde Skul a “kam a dawng pawl-te” (“illiterate” hem genna) adin literacy class bawl thei ahisih ding, chi Bible ah kimu sam lou hi. Tuaziah in, naupangte ban ah, mi piching laithei lou-te adin zong Adult Literacy class pen Sunde Skul ten hing saikhawm uleh dei huai hi. Sunde Skul text-bu leh syllabus piching nei theina di’n, maban a Zou Sunde Skul Union Committee khat a umtheina di’n vaisaiten hing enkai uhen chi ngetna ka hing bawl uhi.

3. Khanglai lamkaite kung a ngetna: Khaglai-te kikhaikhawmna – ZSP, ZYO, MYCA, LYF, etc. – chi te’n Summer leh Winter Literacy Camp kum teng in hing sai thei uleh dei huai hi. Kerala a literacy rate asang ziah pen solkar leh nam ngaina Literacy Volunteer tampite panlahna ga ahia, a volunteer te un tam bang in kichiemna anei zel uhi: “I do hereby solemnly pledge that I will do everything within my capacity to liberate my motherland …from illiteracy and to arm the toiling and suffering millions with the weapon of letters” (Ka tunnu gam laithei louna apat asuohtatna din ka hitheina tan in ka pang ding a, genthei-liangvai mi zatamte laiteng-galvan toh ka thuom ding hi chi’n ka kichiem hi). Gam-le-nam min a kichiam maimai sang in, Zou khanglai-te’n kum 2020 chiang a Zou dinmun ding “vision” kichiantah nei a, tami Kerala te kichiamna phuiteng-te en zong ahithei tantan a zat ding in ngetna ka hing bawl uhi.

4. ZLS leh Statistician-te kung a ngetna: Statistics kichian tah um masa lou a maban kisahkholna fel tah kibawl thei lou a, tualeh Zou minam literacy bang din mun a um ahiai chi ngaidan kichian kinei thei lou hi. Tualeh statistics um lou in Literacy Award chite zong a sai dan ding lampi um lou hi. Census of India (Manipur) a Zou khua statistics ban ah hattuam statistics sung a Zou literacy toh kisai thute hing kaihuai ding in Zou Literature Society-te fel pen din ka gingta uhi. Amau un a sai zou lou uleh midang na aap sawn mai ta uhen. Tami din hattuam statistician-te kithuapina nasatah in a poimo ding hi. Hattuam statistics leh Census of India apat Zou sung pumpi Literacy dinmun a kithei khiat zou lou leh, a poimo bang a Literacy Survey zong bawl ngai ding hi. Tualeh maban a nasep fel tah a apei theina din ZLS in Literacy Monitoring Committee khat phut khe leh chi poimo ka sa ua, statistics ah adult, female leh child literacy te zong bihieh tah a “monitoring” bawl di’n ka hing ngen uhi.

5. UZO kung a ngetna: UZO pen Zou sung a kikhaikhawmna sang pen ahiziah in, ahithei tan a Zou minam pumpi a “represent” ding deithusam ahi. Zou milip a kim khat (50%) numei ahiziah in UZO in Zou numei-te “represent” kha nailou hi. I kimvel a Zomi tribe tuamtuam-te zong tami lam thu ah eima bang veve ahi. Tuazieh in nam hal leh khangtou zaw kol-le-vai te enton in, Zou numei-te adi’n UZO in 33% seat reservation bawl sah leh chi ngetna ka hing bawl uhi. Koima a siamsa leh chinsa um lou ahiziah in, Zou numei-te zong lamkai-hna (leadership) anei di’a kisinsah hunta hi. Zou numei-te khantouna pen Zou minam pumpi khantouna di’a poimo ahi. I numei-te thei lou kaal a, Zou pasal teng aguh-agal a tuam khantou dan ding lampi um lou ahi chi ka gingta uhi. Tuaziah in Zou kampau-te pen mi nuadel hinon lou a, mi madel hi ta ding in ngetna ka hing bawl uhi. Tualeh UZO a Women Cell te’n ahithei tan in Female Literacy lampang hing sai uleh chi duthusam ahi.

Tam teng jousia Zou sung khantouna di’ a poimaw masapen ahi chi hun sawtpi kakikup nua un kamukhia ua, koipou u-leh-nau, nu-leh-pa, nungah-tangval leh pawlpi tuomtuom te’n Literacy ngaipoimaw in isep thei bang chiet uh sempan chiet ding in ngetna kahing bawl uhi”.

Source: ZouWorkshop

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