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E-Pao! Essays - What’s in a name ?

WHAT’s IN A NAME ?
IMA KEITHEL or IMA SUPER MARKET
By: Joseph R. Hmar

Friday, 25th July 2003

While the main issue of whether to construct or not to construct the multi-storeyed market complex at Ima Keithel is going on, I want to share a few personal observation (purely personal, not of the Hmar or Tribal Students’). In fact, born and brought up more than 30 years ago in Poana Bazar i have lots of sentiments and effections to share about the major landmarks within a kiolmeters radius of Poana Bazar. Poana Bazar is different now, I am different now and other things in Manipur are different. Some called it growth and development or others called it globalization and colonization (of economics and politics).

But Poana Bazar still has its name, I still have mine and will continue to have it but will the name Ima Keithel survive. What so important about a name? To Christains everything! Everything in the named of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ok, so this is religion and is not a appropriate example and name of places, roads, persons etc. especially markets changes at a drop of a hat. So what so unique about Ima Keithiel ? Sorry, I am not going to repeat the uniqueness of this place. Enough have been said by our esteem politicians on the print and electoric media (whatever their real intentions are) and I have little to added.

Imagine, a multi-storey market named Ima Keithel ! how interesting would it be. Three/four storey with car parks, clean and polished marbel or tile floor, fans and a/c, white washed or plastic paint walls, fridge and cool-storage, beautiful counters of glass and sunmica, etc. Well, that is not a Keithel, it is a market. It is a super market! so why not called it a Ima Super Market.

It will be more appropricate and it will also be much easily understanable to the international community, better still if we give it a little more international touch and called it Mothers Super Market, that would be something. Better still, as the Mothers Super Market will become classy and sophisticate why not share the burden of running the market by our Eeche and Eechan.

If Eeche and Eechan are running the super market, it would be inappropriacte to called it Mothers Super Market, so shall we called it Young Women Super Market (YWSM). I can go on giving ridiculous names and assumption but I am death serious.

My work over the years have to do mostly with Indigeneous Peoples Rights. Most of us even among the Indigeneous Peoples (leaving aside the others) do not understand our cultures and heritages and more importantly our identity. In Manipur and in the larger context of the Northeast of India whenever we talk about Human Rights, we mostly concentrate on civil and political rights. I feel that it is high time that we as Indigeneous Peoples should start concentrating and understand, identify and preserve our cultures and heritages old and new for generations to come after us. For if we do not preserve what little we have, we will lose our identity even faster than we are doing now. To saveguard a identity even a name is important. IMA KEITHEL !!


* The writer says can be contacted at joerhmar@rediffmail.com "

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