Home » Mizoram » Culture
 
  beaches of indiahills of indialakes of indiaForts of indiacaves of indiaislands of india  
Festivals Dances Music Cuisine Art & Craft
North
South
East
West
North
South
East
West
North
South
East
West
North
South
East
West
North
South
East
West
  pilgrimage of indiawild life of indiahistorical places of indiawaterfalls of indiatrekking in indiatrain routs of india  

States


 


Culture in Mizoram

Sociable, hospitable and fun loving with very strong community bonds-the Mizos are often referred to as the ‘Songbird of the North east'. This reputation is well entrenched as they are considered to be one of the finest choir singers in North east India.

The term 'Mizo' is a compound of two words: 'Mi' means People and 'Zo' means Hill. Thus Mizo connotes "hill people" and this term gives a racial and distinctive ethnic identity to the people of the state.

Clinging to their identity and culture, despite external influences(which threatened Mizo culture during the turbulent period after Indian independence), Mizos have ensured that it continues to thrive with unabated enthusiasm and vigour.

Every major Mizo village now has an YMA (Young Mizo Association) centre, dedicated to infuse society with its traditional lifestyle and customs. Some of the most colourful aspects of this revival are witnessed amongst the folk and community dances that have been handed down from one generation to the next. It is reflected in the important harvest festivals that are an intrinsic part of Mizo culture.

Although Christianity brought about a near - total transformation in the Mizo lifestyle and outlook some customary laws have stayed on. The efforts of the Missionaries, so it seems, were not directed at changing the basic customs of the Mizo society presumably because they saw nothing much wrong with them. The customs and traditions which they found meaningless and harmful were abolished by persistent preaching. Thus tea replaced ZU as a popular drink among the Mizos. Zawlbuk had been replaced by modern education. Animal sacrifices on ceremonial occasions, which were once an integral part of Mizo religious system, are now considered anathema. But such traditions as the payment of bride price are still continued and encouraged and so are some other customs and community traditions.

The Mizos, being patriarchal, property is inherited by men rather than women. The family property usually goes to the youngest son although the father may leave shares to other sons, if he desires. If a man has no sons, his property is inherited by the next kin on the male side.

If a man dies leaving a widow and minor children, a male relation (who usually happens to be a brother of the deceased) takes charge of the family and looks after the property until one of the sons comes of age. If no such male relative is around, then the widow acts as a trustee of her husband's property until such times as his son or sons are old enough to inherit it. However, although the youngest son of the family is the natural or formal heir to his father under the Mizo customary laws, in actuality, the paternal property is generally divided among all sons. The youngest of them gets a preferential treatment in that he would get the first choice of the articles, and he would get two shares of the cash in case of one each for the other brothers. A daughter or a wife can inherit property only if the deceased has no heir on the male side. Women, however, are entitled to their own property.

The dowry, called thuam, that a girl gets for her marriage from her parents is exclusively her own property. However, a written 'will' formally executed may now confer woman the right to inherit the family property. This is a happy amendment to the traditional customary laws.

The Mizo code of ethics or Dharma moved round "Tlawmngaina", an untranslatable term meaning on the part of everyone to be hospitable, kind, unselfish and helpful to others. "Tlawmngaina" to a Mizo stands for that compelling moral force which finds expression in self-sacrifice for the service of others.

The old belief, ‘Pathian' is still in use to term God till today. The Mizos have been so enchanted by their new-found faith in Christianity that their entire social life and thought processes have been altogether transformed and guided by the Christian Church organizations directly or indirectly and their sense of values have also undergone a drastic change.

Mizos are a close-knit society with no class distinction and no discrimination on grounds of sex. Ninety percent of them are cultivators and a village exists like a big family. Birth of a child, marriage in the village and death of a person in the village or community feast arranged by a member of the village are important occasions in which the whole village is involved.


Union territories

Metropolitan cities of India

Metropolitan cities of India

 

 
 

This portal is designed by
Arindam Bhowmik
Best viewed with 1024 by 768 Screen Resolution