Mizoram is a state located in northeastern India that shares borders with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur and the countries of Bangladesh and Burma. Its name means land of the hill people and it became India’s 23rd state on February 20, 1987. Mizoram's population is only about 888,570 and consists of several ethnic tribes that are linked by their shared culture or by the language they speak. These ethnic groups are collectively known as Mizos; Mizo means people of the hills. The state’s climate ranges from 68 °F to 84 °F in summer and 44 °F to 70 °F in winter and the region experiences monsoons from May through September. Mizoram receives about 10 inches of rain each year.
The state's geography includes rolling hills, valleys, rivers and lakes and The states hills range from a height of about 3,200 feet to 7,251 feet. The state’s highest peak is called Phawngpui Tlang aka Blue Mountain and it measures at 7,251 feet tall. The state has many rivers, but its major river is called Chhimtuipui, which originates in Burma, passes through the Southern point of Mizoram and finally flows into the Bay of Bengal. The Indian government has built rivers along the region in order to increase trade with Burma. Palak lake is Mizoram’s biggest lake and covers 74 acres; Mizo people believe an ancient village is under the water and remains intact.
The origin of the state's ancient culture is a mystery, but the state’s known history begins in the 18th and 19th century when local tribes conducted violent raids and head hunted one another. Tribal conflicts were common amongst most Indian tribes. Tribal acts were usually ordered by tribal Chiefs, but a council, known as the Lushai Hills Autonomous District Council, formed in 1952 and abolished the chieftainship of tribes. The Mizo people weren't happy with this and met in Aizawl in 1955 to form a new political party called the Eastern India Tribal Union. This group demanded that their hilly region (present day Mizoram) be made a separate state; their request went unanswered for years.
With people experiencing food shortages and other hardships, a political movement group called the Mizo National Front was born on 22 October 1961. This movement strove to gain statehood for Mizoram and was responsible for a violent insurgency that broke out on February 28, 1966. This uprising was so large that the Indian military responded with air strikes, marking the first time India's Air Force was used to stop a movement created by its own people. The Mizo National Front was outlawed in 1967, but its demand for statehood only grew. In response, India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi converted the Mizo Hills into a Union Territory in July 1971.
In 1985, New Delhi, which is the capital of United India, felt the Mizo statehood issue dragged on and that the only way to end it was to give the Mizo people what they wanted. After a long and drawn out process, Mizoram gained its statehood on February 20, 1987.
Like all Indian people, music and art culture are important to the Mizos. Traditional music of this region is typically soft and mellow. Mizos love guitar and use it in many songs, which are India's version of country music songs. Tribal, religious music utilizes drum beats and is played on a drum called a khuang. This music is supposed to allow worshipers to enter a trance as they listen and dance.
The early Mizos are thought to have been close to music and to have worshiped nature, much like the Native American tribes. Modern day people in the state have been kissed by western culture and enjoy rock, rap, pop and hip-hop music too.
Mizoram is home to several forms of dance performed by locals. One form is called Cheraw and Mizos dance it using bamboo sticks. The dance represents safe passage and a grand entrance into death for mothers who died during childbirth. A dance called Khuallam honors guests who visit a local village and is traditionally danced in brightly colored outfits to the beat of drums. The dance form of Chheih Lam is usually danced on evenings when rice beer in drunk and Mizos sing spontaneous lyrics as they dance!
When it comes to festivals and celebrations, younger Mizos are beginning to celebrate some western holidays; Christmas is really big here. In August and September, the Mim Kut festival is celebrated. It’s a harvest festival that gives thanks for food, the dear departed and includes heavy drinking of rice beer. Mizos celebrate Chapchar, which is a festival that is like a big chore. People get together and clear out burnt trees, brush and debris from the jungles to celebrate. Another arduous festival celebrated here is Pawl Kut, which literally means straw cutting festival, where people get together and cut rice. Um, no wonder Mizos down rice beer on Mim Kut; these people work hard, even when celebrating!
Mizo people are primarily employed in agriculture; 90% work in this field. A village in Mizoram functions like a family where birth and marriage are celebrated by a whole village and death is mourned by a whole village. People are very close to one another and consider their entire community to be part of their family.
Most people here are Christian, but Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam are also followed. The state’s official language is Mizo, but English is used for education and government administration. Nepali is spoken by Nepalese immigrants and Hindi is taught to Mizos as well. Mot Mizos were illiterate until 1894, when missionaries introduced elementary schools. Today is second only to Kerala as India’s most literate state. The Mizoram University is a system of 29 undergraduate colleges and educates an average of about 5,200 students each year and medical colleges are emerging n Mizoram to meet demand for those who want to work in the medical field.
Mizoram has one of India’s smallest economies due to its poor trade location and lack of materials to boost manufacture. The housing industry and other small scale industrial corporations and organizations help it to form some gross domestic product, but it is not a lot. When measured in 2004, i was estimated at $685 million. The state's temperate climate allows for all sorts of crops to grow successfully, so at least the state is able self-sustain when it comes to food.
The state is a beautiful place to visit, due to its gorgeous green landscape and ideal climate. The thing holding back tourism here is the lack of amenities for those accustomed to having them available. The state has been upgrading many of its lodges and hotels to become more modern. If you're traveling here from out of India, you will need a permit, which are available through the local government. There are many bird sanctuaries and rare wild animals like water buffalo to see here.Leave Mizoram to travel to other India states!
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