Post Mortem

Prototype of unity in culture

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/6/2019 12:27:02 PM IST

 By historical nature Naga people love their culture which they believe culture is the primary identity, rich culture, saving culture, preserving culture. However, in praxis the people had demolished the culture to almost total extinction. The Naga missionaries and evangelists spearheaded in demolishing Naga culture during the emergence of the foreign religion-(Christianity), remains the undeniable history. The history of cultural demolition continually exists in the present Naga generation. In addition, the search of development and modernity has left the culture behind. The cultural fragmentation and complexity grow stronger day by day and the social unity through culture continues to die. 

The article prototyped people of Mizoram from North East India and Javanese people in Indonesia, to explain the significant role of culture that unites people based on preservation of culture and its value. The recent initiative of the Government of Mizoram delineates that tradition and culture strongly “helps in forming the structure and foundation of families and society”. It shapes people’s characters based on the embracement of the people in the current society. (Govt. of Mizoram. 17th June, 2019). This is an eye opener or threshold for the Naga indigenous people to retrospect on the importance of practicing culture than knowing culture. Regardless of everyday massive changes of society from the western world influences, Javanese people in Indonesia develop the strong theory of “Think Globally and Act Locally” to give more importance to their culture to sustain in the modern society through practicing food culture, way of life that transfer from the fore-parents. The strong bond of culture among the Javanese people can be found explicitly at local market, family gathering, and most importantly, people of this community happily in unity wear dresses made of traditional fabric on every Friday at offices, schools, churches, Mosques and other places. Similarly, Government of Mizoram had recently adopted that employees in all Government and private sectors are encouraged to wear their traditional, cultural and ethnic attires at work place once in a week.      

Culture unites people if well preserved, valued and respected. For instance, despite numerous countries and languages exist among the European Commission; the EC focuses on developing language which unites all and live in peace. EC indicates language as the strongest culture that unites them (Macmillan. 2013). Similarly, the early Naga people remained united through culture and tradition. The unity through culture among them had built strong society and community. Language, costume, behaviors, common sense, clan, food and so on, built the automatic social system to know each other better and bring people closer as one origin. Sadly, this decade local culture is sold out to foreign religion (American Baptist Christianity) between 1874 to until now and the last piece culture is sold out to modernity. 

Living with strong decade culture today is not savage or uncivilized which people often codified it. It rather inscribes the strength of communities of the history of origin, identity and culture which remains a trophy of pride. People mostly believe that western theory of peace building brings unity in society and give less importance to the power and strength of indigenous tradition and culture that unite people throughout the history of existence. In search of the modern unity, they have abandoned and relinquished the indigenous methods of living in unity i.e ‘Unity in Culture’. 

In the past people in rural areas built houses with the help of almost the entire villagers within a week without any cost. They lived the life of unity through supporting and helping culture. Such occasion provided moments to bring people together, to unite through working together culture. People had the culture of rotation for harvest in group without any cost. This culture abrogated stress, frustration and anxiety among families in the field of accomplishing works for livelihood. Such ‘Unity in Culture’ is also existed and continues to exist among the ancient Greeks, their distinctive artistic, artworks and artifacts identify their origin and keep them united (Macmillan. 2018). However, ‘Unity in Culture’ among the current Naga people, at rural and urban areas is extricated. People hire fellow villagers to harvest, build houses and other manual works unlike the former unity in work culture. 

Their culture of the Javanese people like greetings, respecting elders, serving traditional food, wearing traditional cloths, sustaining traditional mode of transportation and distinctive language culture, strengthen and support one another to do better in day to day life. As a result, they respect, love and preserve culture that unites them. Similarly, Naga people can preserve the culture to sustain unity without ignoring own culture to a secondary concern. If Nagas fail to do good things like neighboring States do in preserving culture, Nagas can learn from them than indulging in argument and debate. Neighboring State like Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram have language culture that unites the people but Nagas continue to struggle to identify which culture unites them when almost all traditions and culture are dying. Naga people neither have language nor preserved other culture and tradition to unite the community. 

Dr. Lemwang Chuhwanglim

Researcher, Mon


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