Enriched and uniquely diversified with enchanting folktales, traditions and customs, the indigenous groups residing in the North-Eastern region of India are a distinctive race, commonly known as the Tribal community.
As an active civil society, each ethnic group celebrates life and death in accordance with the respective customs of their own culture. As the region is mainly called an unexplored paradise, each and every aspect of their practice, notions, ethics and moral values are a suitable gateway to research.
The point of their origination remains a mystery as there is no proper documentation. According to their oral inherent resources, their manuscripts are nowhere to be identified; some manuscripts were consumed to prevent themselves from starvation while some were consumed by dogs. These manuscripts were written on the dried skin of domestic animals. Since there is no evidence to prove the point of their origin, a massive study can be done.
As astonishing as it may sound, the paradigm shift from headhunting to modernisation is exclusively a remarkable question. In the past, Animism was the principle of religion. Exaltation and pure reverence were shown to nature. Wars were waged between villages and clans of different cultures, migrating to and fro. Modernisation along with literacy and civilisation has mitigated the majority of the old practices, though they are still deeply rooted in their culture. Today, the pros of modern sensibilities are the appraisal for their current stature.
In the field of education, there are prominent institutions and universities that welcomed exposure to students and academicians from the mainland. Once they get a glimpse of the beauty of the region, they are mesmerised by the warm demeanour and hospitable manner shown by the ethnic people. The misconception they carry in their notions can be altered by spreading information about the charm and fascination of the community. There is no element of discrimination practised on a regular basis.
There are enthralling and numerous festivals that are an open door of showcasing cultural activities, handicrafts, and different cuisines that are considered exquisite. Each ethnic community has their own purpose of celebrating their eventful festivals, based on different occasions – an indication that is a reflection of the fact that they are still deeply rooted in their cultural notions, an environment of a cultural harmony. To this day, festivals are considered as safeguarding events, where traditions and customs are an integral part of people’s everyday lives.
Awareness is a must in maintaining the cultural wealth of the ethnic groups, as the purpose of their existence has a powerful connection with nature in their historical background; the charm and beauty revealed in each diverse aspect. Our precious identities are to be preserved, as they are a process of gaining recognition in respect to our status in India. We can make North East shine by embracing the gems in our ethnicity.
About the author: C. Lalrinfela is a passionate freelance writer from Aizawl, Mizoram. He is a tourism student of Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), Shillong, Meghalaya, an intern at TNT-The Northeast Today, Shillong. He has an ardent love for animals, especially dogs. Pet care, travelling, storytelling, feature writing, folklore studies and tour guiding are his passion.