International Seminar On Chin People To Be Held In India’s Mizoram State
An international seminar on ‘exploring the history, culture and identity of the Chin groups’ is to be held for the very first time at Mizoram University in Aizawl, India next week from 13 to 15 October.
The three-day seminar which aims at raising awareness about the loss of identity and generating consciousness to restore the ethnic and cultural identities by the Chin community across the globe is organised by Department of History and Ethnography, Mizoram University, Aizawl and sponsored by Brussels-based The Euro-Burma Office.
“It would be the first time ever in Mizoram University. There will be quite a lot of experts participating, as many as 30 from abroad and the same number from within India. We are expecting more than 150 people to attend with many special guests including Professor F.K. Lehman and Professor George Bedell,” Coordinator of the seminar, Dr. K. Robin from Department of History and Ethnography told Chinland Guardian.
A host of speakers involving the academics, activists and various experts working in the field will elaborate on various issues from different perspectives pertaining to the Chin history, culture and identity.
The seminar’s objectives statement said that the Chins who are the indigenous people occupying large territories – hitherto called Chin-Lushai Country – are now separated by international boundaries of nation-states like Burma, India and Bangladesh in recent years, becoming minorities among the larger communities in the new nation-states. The ethnic groups in these modern nation-states perceive threats to their identity in some geographical locale, the statement continued.
With a strong belief on the importance of identity retention especially among smaller ethnic groups like the Chins, the event will also focus on finding ways in preserving and protecting the culture and tradition of a people who are in the process of losing identity on the face of the ‘nationalist upsurges’ in the 20th century.
The first Chin Forum’s magazine which is published this year in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of its inception will be available at the Chin historical seminar. The magazine is prepared with the primary purpose of informing its readers about the Chin people, their land, and their struggle for freedom, democracy and federalism.
Van Biak Thang
08 October, 2008