TODAY -

Preserving our Indigenous Ways of Life

Omila Thounaojam *

Art work by Akoijam Khelendro Meitei
Art work by Akoijam Khelendro Meitei



The clean process of wiping off continues. There is no halt or putting full stop to it. I don't think it will most possibly. Trends set in, invade in a closely bound terminology. I must say there is no going back but yes a quick revision is a must needed step. If at all we do care for those who are true forebears and original inheritors of rich sources of knowledge.

Who said only printed books are the exclusive reserves of true sources to rely on. The debate is still on about whether words or sounds came first on which one of them human needs to rely more. The call is a tough one. In our ingenuity to survive, we have carved out a suitable habitat for us. We play multiple roles to tame the wildest to prove ourselves winners. In this run for the most comfortable, we missed out loads to look after and preserve or guard ways that our ancestors had crafted for us.

The complex nature of this mysterious world is so hard to learn that we opt for smoother ways. We do away with our native belief systems with no second thought. Even though I sound theoretical here, it seems to be the heavy truth. The clock is ticking and the velocity with which we un-become what we are speeds up. The saddest part of the story is where those people who had it with them are dying without revealing the secrets.

Who to blame for here, when hardly anybody attempted to dig the truths out and lay it open for all to learn. I blame myself too for not taking up the step. Funny isn't it? Look who is blabbering here.... indeed the old order is fading day by day. Obscurity is the color of our lives today, so let me just put across some things straight before you to clarify my ambiguous thoughts.

Our state has done very less in recognizing talents who could really take up the challenging task of recording truths about our communal history. Histories were written in the past but we need historians of our generation to dig in and do a comparative study of "how" much truths have been recorded. With new historicism being the heavy area of study these days, the state welfare bodies should not hesitate to nurture skills that can un-reluctantly plunge into this task. Moreover we need more books with printed words to make available sources of reference to those who are genuinely keen on knowing US and our CULTURE. Gone are the days when we sit back, relax and easily take things for granted.

It is high time now that we spare some time out and meet those who witnessed historical events themselves, and record their jeweled words. They are the last wo-men on this planet who have stored truths about our past. We need referencing them because as all know the world today go for recorded text as sources for establishing truths about places and people.

Another important facet that should find a valuable place here in the write is the way in which local markets are slowly getting subsumed by foreign products. Hope some richy-rich people are listening me here. If you are then this task is yours. Trust me on this it will make you a God-Figure if you take this seriously. What all required is big bucks..... investment on projects that could bring in Cold-Storage facilities in our state.

Imagine what magical results it could bring in, our state bound fruits; vegetable would not go into waste just like that if they find right spaces to be fitted in. Forget about export business and blah-blah big dreamy stuffs like making our local markets go foreign but the beautiful truth where our home grown things could be plenty enough to feed its own people in affordable prices.

Ending up my gloriously sounding write here, the only thing I would like to draw all your attention here is upon doing our best from an individual level in preserving our indigenous patterns of tradition. This doesn't mean wearing our traditional attires once in a while or talking grandly about our 'singjus' and 'boras'. Not at all but just paying keen attention while we are adopting new cultural patterns - we must be inclusive in our outlooks but at the same time never negotiate with orders that asked for us to divorce ourselves permanently with our own cultural identification symbols.


* Omila Thounaojam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
The writer is a Research Scholar at Assam University (Silchar)
This article was posted on July 13, 2013.


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