Yesterday was a wonderful and memorable day for all Mizos around the world. We’ve just set a new WORLD RECORD for the most number of people dancing simultaneously to our traditional dance called “Cheraw”, where bamboos are used as props.
It was a proud day for every Mizo worldwide.
Then of course I woke up this morning, still feeling the aftertaste of pride and sense of achievement (even though I was not a part of this historical moment) and happily picked up the newspaper. I was completely shocked that the Times of India and Mumbai Mirror mentioned nothing about this spectacular event. I was expecting at least a picture, because “Cheraw” dancers are so beautiful. Yet, nothing, nada, zilch.
On my way to office, I picked up Mid Day and DNA. Nothing in Mid Day either. DNA at least mentioned it briefly on page 12. Thanx guys.
According to newKerala.com:
Lucia Sinigalie, an adjudicator from the Guinness, who supervised the entire event declared at 1500 hrs that Mizoram has achieved the largest dance ensemble in the world to a thunderous applause from what was believed to be the largest gathering of people in Mizoram.
''I was enthralled by the dance. It was fantastic and amazing. Aizawl is a mystical place, the people are fantastic. The people well deserve this world record,'' Sinigalie said as she handed over the certificate to Mizoram Art and Culture Minister P C Zoramsangliana.
Mizoram has edged the previous record of world's largest dance ensemble set by 7,000 dancers in Cebu in the Philippines last year.
w00t!!!! Now just thinking aside, had some dance troupe from Maharashtra, Delhi, Kolkata etc done the same thing and shattered the existing World Record, would the newspapers not mention anything about the event either? Ah…
Anyway, here’s hoping some of them at least mention about it tomorrow. Better late than never, aye?
BBC News too had already announced this event yesterday itself.
The dancers, who were mainly students, performed the traditional "Cheraw" dance along a 3km (1.8 mile) stretch in Aizawl, capital of Mizoram state.
Guinness World Records judge Lucia Sinigaliesi watched the dance along with tens of thousands of spectators.
The 10,378 dancers performed for eight minutes in Aizawl's spacious Assam Rifles Grounds, with many spilling out beyond the grounds.
People in Mizoram spent a lot of time preparing for this grand event. Here is one of the rehearsals on a roadside at night, because during the day the girls and boys had to go to school or college. Video courtesy samuelapa
I’ve collected a lot of photographs that people have submitted at our Mizo community site misual.com. Here are some of the pictures. Do remember that a lot of these people danced on the streets of Aizawl and the entire traffic was closed for the day, since all of them didn't fit at the venue location. Click on the pics to enlarge. Pics courtesy Rina, Nancy, Shailendra, AS_Khiangte, and many others.
Even children took part in this:
Also got these great pics from my good friend Shahnaz:
Here are some of the videos on youtube so far.
This one is at a busy bazaar street. Video courtesy: Anoch
On the road. Video courtesy: mzvision
Chhinlung Academy. Video courtesy: andr3whiho
Road view, from top. Video courtesy: mzvision
Another view, from the roadside. Video courtesy: Jayanta Kumar Nath
Dancers at the main field. View from the VIP area. Video courtesy: Anoch
When it comes to Cheraw, there are a lot of different steps. The particular step that you see in all these videos, has been decided and approved by the Arts and Culture Dept. Below is a clip that I think is the same one approved by A&C. Video courtesy MrPaduh
Here are some of our girls practicing Cheraw, in casual wear. This is not a part of the World Record event though. Video courtesy: kimcanpo
Everywhere Mizos go, Cheraw is always taken along with them. Here are some Mizos in the US performing at a function there. . Video courtesy: lalthachianga
This dance is usally performed at Chapchar Kut, one of our main festivals. Here are the dancers on that same occasion. Video courtesy: MrPaduh
Last but not the least, here are our very own Mumbai Mizo girls performing this dance recently. MSYM – Mizo Students and Youth of Mumbai. Video courtesy: maruatafanai
Hope you enjoyed the pics and vids. Cheers! To end this amazing journey, here is a grand finale video. It is from the INCREDIBLE INDIA commercial. Check out 0:53 minute and watch the guy doing the Cheraw!!!!
Update: March 16th, 2010.
Times of India nor any of the other papers mentioned anything about this World Record, even the next day after I posted this. And I heard from a Facebook friend who is a journalist that she was contacted by DNA, so she’s the one sent them the press release from I&PR to DNA so that they could publish a small paragraph from it.
Anyway, it is at times like this that we feel more isolated, like we do not matter much to India. Breaking a world record of this magnitude is a landmark achievement, and yet with none of the media reporting it, the rest of India’s ignorance about people from the North East will only continue.
As I have just commented at Abhinav Blog: North Eastern Indian Women face Racism in their Own Country!: “Stereotypes can be abolished only when there is maximum exposure about a particular culture or community. The main reason we stereotype is simply because we don’t know anything about that person, or know too little.”