Monday, December 6, 2010

Issue of Identity

In this blog, I would like to breadown the multiple issue of unity, diversity & identity & how it changes according to different circumstance & perspective.
Below are the different layers:

1. I lived in Aizawl, Mizoram but my identity within Aizawl was confined to where I stay - Vaivakawn, Dawrpui, Mission Veng etc & the Church where I attend - Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist, Adventist etc. hence the rest of the people who do not live where I live & who do not attend church where I attend are them.

2. I move out of the state of Mizoram to go to a Boarding school in Northeast India in Shillong or Imphal & all the identity of being from a particular locality within Aizawl or from being the town of Aizawl, Lunglei, Lawngtlai or Saiha dissolve. We have fights & arguments with people from different states of Northeast India like Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya & we the "Mizo's" remain united in helping our fellow brothers from our own state.

3. For further studies I proceed to big cities of India like Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkota or Chennai and stay in a big Hostel, now that we are further away from Mizoram, a northeast state and less in number, we start hanging around with our brothers from the northeast like the Naga's, Manipuri's, Khasi's so that we can help and support each other, and yes there are still fights where we protect each other as well, we also develop the kinship of being brothers from the northeast and the small fights that we had in boarding school in northeast are forgotten now.

4. With regards to the different Churches that we had in Mizoram & Northeast for the Presbyterians, Catholics, Baptist & Adventist etc, we start to worship together, not only to Worship God but also to come together to bond together & support each other because we are less in number & have a feeling of community worshipping together.

5. If you live in India and are living in North Indian Cities, you are a chinky or a slant eyed person which would mean not only the northeast people but also people from Sikkim, Darjeeling & Nepal hence an outsider.
If you go down further south, you stop becoming a chinky but start becoming branded as a North Indian with the rest of the people from Maharashtra, Delhi, UP & Punjab.

6. If you move out of India into US, Europe, China or Japan, you are branded as just an Indian, It does not matter if you are the North, South, West or North East of India, you're just an Indian and Indian's from different states who would not normally mingle together try to help & support each other just because you are an Indian because you have a sense of brotherhood with that person just because you are from the same country.
In a heterogenous society like the New York, Los Angeles, London or Hong Kong it's easier to mingle with people of the diverse background of People from different parts of the world. But if you do travel to a Homogenous society like Africa, Middle America or Russia where people are more or less of the same ethnicity you again start sorting people who have similar background like you, if you are a British person travelling to India, you may find a French person easier to converse with due to european background, or if you are Chinese & you travel to Africa, you may find more in common with a person from Indonesia then with an African. Indians & Pakistani's could be at war but be peaceful neighbours abroad elsewhere, the same applies to the North & South Koreans, the Somalis and many other ethnic wars throughout the world.

Having written all these Hypothetical assumptions, I am very much aware that there are a lot of us who have broken down racial barriers & do not necessarily view or judge people according to racial or religous background but a lot of people in this world still identify themselves according to their racial & religious background to the extent that they develop mistrust & hatred for each other sometimes even leading to Wars. What would it take to have the whole World live as one brotherhood? An Attack from Mars? An Asteroid heading to Earth? Global Warming? A Giant disaster? Do we need a common enemy to be united or can we also be united without having a common enemy?

I can't answer it either, but just think about it :-) Have a good day/night!


  1. Good post....


  2. So true. Amen to that. Have experienced all that, except for the going abroad part :) Its a common sociological need and psychological behavior for Man to group with people in his comfort zone so that he can feel secure, and that zone changes from circumstances to circumstances just like how you've mentioned. Excellent post my brother.

  3. Very well written. Good.

    Let this TSUNAMI of ideas break down all barriers of identity crisis.

    Way to go.


  4. Nice perspective... insightful as well.

    IMHO: Man is a Social animal and needs a sense of belonging. So where ever we are, we feel the need to be part of a group, mainly because those who aren't are simply outcasts, weirdos, etc.
    And it does not necessarily mean groups based on ethnicity. In corporate offices, you have the group of Agents, Managers, Sr.Managers.. etc basically groups of colleagues, irrespective of where each one comes from.. in fact, every profession would have them.
    It is sad, though, that human nature is such that a common enemy/hatred binds people closer together than any common friend/love would.

  5. @ illusionaire, khumchikthei & blacestred- thanks for the feedback.

  6. You have very comprehensively viewed this issue in the context of globalization and I do appreciate your perception! But frankly speaking, I am aware that a strong sense of identity amongst certain racial groups provides a sense of security and support for that particular group - which I believe is very much desirable for the racial group to survive in this callous world!

  7. A very very thought provoking indeed....I rally like it.

  8. Mars velah te weekend kan han hman theih hunah phei chuan, White, Black, Asian tepawh "Human" tih kha kan identity ani ve leh mai anga. Blood Brothers kan ni vek ve leh mai dawn ani.
    Kan khawsakna a zim leh kan circle a zim deuha, kan khawsakna boruak a zau leh kan huap zau deuh ni maiin a lang.

  9. Very very thought-provoking article. It does not matter whether we are black, white, yellow etc . . . . let us remember that we are all God's children and let all try to live by the principle of life sets out for us by God. No racial/cultural background is superior/higher than the other. Let these not be the deciding factors of a person. Let the character of an individual determines a person.