We leave the hustle and bustle of Kolkata and embrace the blue-hued mountains of Nagaland. Our destination is Kohima, the capital situated at an altitude of 1495 metres. Nagaland became the 16th state of India in 1963. There are 16 major tribes is Nagaland, each with its own distinct culture and lifestyle. Nagas are animist by tradition though 98% embraced Christianity under the influence of American missionaries.
An interesting tradition of Naga society is the “Morung”, a dormitory for men. A boy enters the dormitory at the age of 6. He learns all about his culture in the Morung. Another interesting tradition is weaving. A Naga hand-woven shawl is highly symbolic; each tribe has its own special pattern and motif. I would highly recommend you get one for yourself.
The Kohima War Cemetery is dedicated to the soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in a battle between the British and the Japanese in April 1944. The British erected a monument in honour of their fallen comrades that reads “When you go home, tell them of us and say ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today’.
We will visit the Angami tribal village of Khonoma referred to as the first green village in India. The uniqueness of the soil found here supports 20 different varieties of rice cultivated in this area. The locals will host a lunch for us. This will be a great opportunity for us to find out more about this interesting culture.
It will be hard to leave the warmth and friendliness of these people.
Till my next One Heart and One Soul newsletter…