14 Apr 2009

Manipuris - species of a different kind

Being one of those having peculiar mongoloid face with flat nose and small eyes, i have known and known how it feels to look different from the crowd. But being a Manipuri, apart from all those mongoloid looking people is a vast difference, for which i am proud of. I am not talking about culture or religion here, stop those fights in the name of religion for God's sake..

We Manipuris are really different from other people; ok even from those Nepali looking people (happy? i knew you wanted to say it). We are peace loving, kind, impulsive, patient and talk very less. Like the wind and the water, we Manipuris believe in right to freedom and would fight for it.

These are some of the things that make Manipur and peope living here different from others
1) We believe in Love marriage (>90%). We have a custom of eloping with the girl we want to marry to let others know about the same.
2) Girls/women during their menstruation period are not allowed to enter the kitchen to cook food. It is such times that male member of the family cooks the food. Most of the Manipuri (particularly Meitei*) males know how to cook
3) We treat kitchen as a sacred place, where the source of life is. We have to take a bath and wash our hands before entering the kitchen.
4) We take out food thought enough for consumption, and store the rest of the food inside the utensil in which it was cooked. However there are times when you need more food, but again you have to wash you mouth and hands before entering the sacred kitchen
5) Most of the people do not go to market to buy vegetables. Shocked!! Many of us (the numbers are decreasing day by day now though) have their own vegetable garden no matter how small i may be. So we just pluck them, wash them and cook it.
6) There is no beggar in Manipur (maybe 2% may exist). I haven't seen someone begging in the streets in Manipur till now (swear)
7) People in Manipur tend to have a rock culture, especially the youths. We love rock music, worship Bryan Adams, wear fancy stuffs etc etc.
8) Most of the people (>60 i guess) in Manipur have an agricultural land, which yield grain for consumption of the family or maybe for business. Many of us there do not care much about physiological needs and hence look for other needs.
9) Girls and boys woo each other. Though this is not a part of the culture, this has been developed with time in the youths.There are a lot of chances to meet the fatal attraction..its a small place you know!
10) Anyone will know someone through some links. Whenever i would meet some Meiteis outside Manipur, we would always have someone who is a common friend or relative or something like that where there is a link. But i think, being a Manipuri is the greatest link of all.
11) Did you know Polo was born in Manipur? Yeah! When British came to Manipur, they gave it the name Polo. In local language it is called "sagol kangjei#"
12) (Oh i almost forgot) Every Meitei family have a small area in the front porch for worshipping "Tulsi" and a small area inside the house to worship the local Gods.Every morning and evening, the female elder of the family has to pray there and the local Gods.
13) Perhaps the only floating inhabitants on this planet is in Manipur. There are floating restaurant, floating homes etc on the Loktak lake - once the largest Fresh water Lake in India.
These homes, restaurants are built on a partiular type of grass that floats on water.
14) There are countable number of public mandirs. Most people prefer to make a small mandir at home and pray. But even then there is no restrictions on religion -I prefer my School church to pray, though i have to hear the bhajans during holi time at home. Its a mixture of all religions

We Manipuris like personal space a lot and we constantly fight for it, like the caged tiger who roams to and fro inside the cage. Every now and then there was fight like any brother and sister would do at home. But personally, i had life taking fights with my own brother and sister when we were young. Once i banged up my little brother so hard, he could not breathe and was gasping for a minute. Everyday there was something or the other to fight about and beat each other - not a typical kinda fight you would see in movies (LOL). But when i realised its value when my sister went for further studies and then when i went for my own studies, things were different. I would call up my brother and sister and ask about them, care for them etc. Back in those days, love was in fighting !

Well i guess thats sizeable number of points i have provided, which will single me out i guess.

* Meitei is a tribe that follows Hinduism/Vaisnavism whereas Manipuris refer to all the people living in Manipur, irrespective of caste and religion
# sagol - horse ; kangjei - stick

N.B. These are my personal thoughts and feelings. The points given out here may not represent the whole people of


comments powered by Disqus