Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Chp 99. Christmas in Mizoram

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas. Love and prayers to all of you.

Mizoram is probably one of the most memorable places to be during Christmas. Preparation starts a month early, with each locality decorating their area and Churches, followed by a hectic last-week shopping frenzy and all the tailors of Mizoram toiling their ass out on stitching more than a hundred new suits a day.

I took a couple of snaps of some of the decorations on the streets (I plead guilty to being an amateur photographer!)







Christmas eve included the usual Church service and caroling. Later in the night, my sisters and I placed the Christmas gifts for our two nieces (age 4 and 9) on the “thlang-ra”, a large traditional plate used as a substitute for the westernized version of Christmas stockings meant for Santa’s gifts.

This is a pic of my two nieces (and friend) on the morn of Christmas day, as they tore open the presents from “Santa”.



Here is me infront of our Christmas tree, dressed in my brand new Christmas suit. Hehe. I didn’t notice that my tie was knotted too short in the front and I went to Church like that! Lolz. Well what can I say, I’m an old-timer. *silly grin*



The next day after Christmas, we had the grand feast. This takes place at every locality in Mizoram every year. The day starts at 6 am, where everyone gathers at the feast location to prepare for the feast. The various work is divided, like some group cut the veggies, peeled the potatoes, sliced the meat, constructed the dining area and wash basins, cooked the rice etc etc. It's entirely a voluntary group thingie: That’s what you gotta love about a close knitted society like ours. This is known as “fatu”, which literally means, preparation for the feast.


Close friends, (Dr!)Rintluanga, Valpuia and Muansanga coming for the “fatu”.


With my other closest friends, Sanga & Tluanga (the twins), Mapuia and me waiting for the rest of our gang to arrive at Matea’a place so that we could all go “fatu-ing” together.

Below are some of the snaps taken during the “fatu”.

Veggie section ::









Now comes the meat section! After all, you won’t find any other community that loves meat as much as we do. Pork is our favorite. In Mizoram, pigs are bred with the utmost care on specialized farms, fed with the best food possible, inorder to get the most scrumptious and tastiest yummy meat. Sluuurrp! [Warning: Explicit content. Not meant for the faint hearted or timorous la-di-da metropolitan. ]











In the evening, when all the food is finally ready, the feast starts. People take turns at the counters, serving the others, only to be replaced by those who finish eating. And meanwhile, groups of 16-18 years old guys roam around the locality as designated “security” because this is one occasion when nobody’s at home anywhere.

Feastings like this pull everyone closer and closer. There is no such thing as a class divide or social status difference; all are equal. Man you gotta love Mizoram for that.

And all over our locality, the KTP, Kristian Thalai Pawl, roughly translated into the “Christian Youth Wing”, has put up posters everywhere.


“Let’s spend Christmas and New Year merrily without alcohol and drugs”.


“Jesus does not want you to celebrate his birthday with alcohol and drugs”.
“Let us all spend Christmas and New Year with Jesus.”.

And last but not the least, this is what my “Santa” got me from UK. Authentic Arsenal jersey, Official 2007 Arsenal Calendar and an original Arsenal muffler. Wooohooo!!!



Once again, season’s greetings everyone! Peace.

14 comments:

Sundancer said...

I know every single person on every single pic :D In awhfik I thiam khawppp mai, Chaltlang chhas ho chu an chhe lo hlawm suau suau khups mai..

Jason said...

What did you do during the fatu?

You have nieces who are 4 and 9. You must be a pretty old guy maybe in your 40s or more who has done a great job at camouflaging his age. You look pretty young in the snap though.. ;) and you still get gifts from Santa? You managed to fool him about your age, didn't you?

Nice post :) glad you had a blast!!

illusionaire said...

@ sundancer: hahaha! I know you must be dying out there to be here for X'mas :-) How was ur side (Chaltlang vengpui)? did ur sis mention anything spectacular about their feast?

@ Jason: lolz. Am 26. Too old to believe in Santa but too young to ridicule him. hahaha.

During the fatu, I was taking photographs. lolz. On a more serious note, me and my frens (guys of our age group) were doing all the hard physical labour, like carrying the (freaking) heavy pigs, moving around the gas cylinders etc.

Thanx, hope ur X'mas was a blast too!

Anonymous said...

Its great to see you having a good time there. The feast with all the grime and gore look so much more warming than the cured meats and systematized tapestry lights over here (aka Seattle)...the vawksa pix were enough to stir a groaning appetite. Are you shifting base to Mizoram or there for a holiday?

Almost Unreal said...

Nice pose (with the suit) *GRIN*

Ka lung a leng top..laljosepha ka hmu sut mai, fatu lai..nui nasa ang chu fatu laiin.

Chuan Mapuia ka * hlui poh lo lang :P

illusionaire said...

@ anonymous: Thanx. Well, I'm not sure yet, might be shifting here permanently. Still uncertain. As of now, lets just say, I'm here for the hols. If you want to see more pics of the meat, I've posted them at misual.com :-)

@ almost unreal: Which mapuia? The one with me in the snap, or somebody you chanced upon in the crowd?

virgochhas said...

if Mapuia with you is almost unreal's star hlui i 'hnek chorh her' rite now...

he was, is , and will alwayz be my one and only "Alpen"...my crush since grade 8 till now... :D

plz give him my regards...he is a great frend...wish him for me...

u look great...compared to the camp chhuah ni pic... :)

ur Christmas looks *greatttt*...

in ti thei ness...

sa leh thildang xong xong ai chuan Mapuia bul a voi khat din ve kha ka chak feee....

an in kha mitthla ah a lang nghal xung xung mai lom....choka dohkan...hahahhaha....

a la thra reng a nih kha...

huiham

:)

myself said...

oiiii!! Valpuia chu va danglam lo ve...

Inla hmang nuam bik ltk,vawksa khi tenom hlom shii

ka vaw dawn che :P

Almost Unreal said...

Mapuia - the one standig next to you...between u and the twin bros...

kan puang loks nge....twin bro te kha Jerushai * hlui te an nih kha...tu zok nge a * zok ka chiang toh lo, an 2 pon an ni mai thei.

Chuan Thanpuia a om em...ka * teh mai nia...:P

illusionaire said...

Ladies! stop discussing about my guy friends! :-) They are all younger than you three. lolz...

ThugAngel said...

nawm hmel hle mai, kum 2006 Krismas chu ka fatu loh kum a ni ve ta reng mai, Sandy chu khalam nawm dan i han chharchhuak thiam hle mai, sa kha chil a ti put, vawksa tui tawk a kawchhung, a thi thun, a ril tih vel ka ei chak khawp mai....

BTW kan chah lawk ve duh mai2 che chu, mi ten an lo rel che a an lo sawi chhe deuh che anih pawhin hnual phah lo la, i ke kha ti chak la ding nghet tlat ang che.....keini tan pawh min lo trawngtraisak zel ang che...trawngtraina hian thil a ti thei ania...

May God Bless You And Your Family

illusionaire said...

May God bless you and your family too Aldrin. Don't forget to give my warmest regards to ur sis, Ricky, Jerry etc.

And thanx for the advice. Locked and loaded.

virgochhas said...

Mapuia is my batch mate...sala...

he is a month and 9 days older then me

:D

Bennet said...

Thank you for this post, really effective piece of writing.
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