Bamboolands…Mizoram in the winter of 2008
This winter we journeyed through India to visit our extended family in Mizoram. This small Indian state with a meager population of under a million people occupies a unique position on the physical and cultural frontier of the Indian subcontinent. Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts and Burma’s Chin Hills surround two thirds of the state while Mizoram is linked to India through its border with Assam, Tripura & Manipur. The terrain is rugged and unforgiving to casual exploration. Ethnically Mizos share closer affinity with South East rather than South Asia. They are mostly Christian and literacy rates are the 2nd highest in India after Kerala. Perhaps most interestingly, there is virtually no class or caste difference amongst Mizos! Separatist movements mar the neighboring states but Mizoram is free of significant insurgency. Mizos enjoy autonomy and protection of their culture while still remaining comfortably within the Indian union. The state enjoys a sense of peace that is rare in this little-known region of India.