Mizoram is a northeastern state of India which is famous worldwide for its pleasant climate. This beautiful looking state is also called the land of hills as most of Mizoram is surrounded by hills.
It is bordered by 2 neighboring countries like Myanmar to the east and south and Bangladesh to the west. The northern part of Mizoram is also surrounded by several northeastern states including the states of Manipur, Assam and Tripura Mizoram is famous for its culture and traditions.
The tribals living in Mizoram celebrate colorful cultural festivals throughout the year, due to which Mizoram is considered one of the evergreen states.
The word “Mizoram” can be divided into three parts as follows, “mi” means “people”, “zo” means “hill” and “ram” means “country”. Thus, Mizoram means “Land of the Hilly People”.
Aizawl, a hill town, is the religious and cultural center of Mizoram and is also the capital where prime sightings of all kinds of birds and wildlife can be had. Mizoram is famous for Pheasant (Ceramicus Hemia).
The early history of Mizoram begins with the Mongoloid race. Around the 7th century, people belonging to the Mongoloid race reached Burma and China, a neighboring country adjacent to India.
Shortly thereafter, when the British missionaries were coming to India in the 9th century, the Mongoloid race also came in contact with the British missionaries and settled in the hilly areas of India.
After coming in contact with the British missionaries, these people became better in education and it was the British missionaries who introduced the Mizo language to these people.
These tribes of Mongoloid species were the first to come from Burma and India’s neighboring country China called Kuki. The last tribe to arrive in Mizoram was during the 19th century, known as Lushai.
Over time, people of various castes came to Mizoram. After that, the Mizo community, settling in Mizoram, was then divided into several tribes and sub-tribes.
It includes some prominent tribes like Lushai, Powai, Paith, Ralte, Pang, Hamar, Kuki, Mara and Lakhen. Mizoram was not under British rule until 1890 and was under the leadership of local chiefs.
But after 1890 Mizoram also came under British rule. In 1895, many Christian missionaries settled here. Christianity is the main religion in this state due to the settlement of Christian missionaries.
Mizoram was a part of the British state of Assam and was the headquarters of Aizawl. In 1947, with the independence of India, Mizoram also got independence. After independence, local chiefs were removed under the 1954 Act.
At that time, Mizoram was not known as Mizoram, but the Lushai hill region, which remained a part of the state of Assam even after independence.
But the severe drought of 1958-1960 and the demand for implementation of Assamese language laws in all regions of Assam enraged the Mizos.
Then in 1971 Mizoram became the first union territory and then by 1987 Mizoram got the 23rd state.
The culture of Mizoram is very broad and rich due to the variety of tribes living in Mizoram. It reflects the roots of the Mizos. Known as the “Songbird of the Northeast”, the residents of Mizoram are traditional and simple people.
Which even today follows technology free rules. There is no disparity on the basis of caste and gender in Mizoram. Mizoram is the second least populated state in India.
About 86% of Mizoram is covered by forests, making Mizoram a biodiverse state. In addition, the passage of the Tropic of Cancer through the mountainous region and near Mizoram is also a cause of biodiversity.
Mizoram is also a part of the Seven Sisters group, which includes the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Additionally, Mizoram has a literacy rate of over 91 percent, making Mizoram the second highest literacy state after Kerala. Marriage among the Mizos has both religious and social aspects.
Marriage brings together not only two individuals, but two families in a network of social responsibility. Breach of exogamy, they believe, brings disaster to them.
The life of the people of Mizoram depends on the hunting of forests, birds and animals. Apart from this, the economy of Mizoram is also dependent on agriculture. Zoom farming in Mizoram is the main source of livelihood of the people there.
Zoom farming is quite unique in itself. The people of Mizoram cut forests for jhum cultivation and then grow crops there. The forests on the hills are cut and left to dry from January to March.
And then the dried trees are later burnt. The ground has been cleared due to fire. After this, small pits are dug on the hillsides.
This practice of burning jug cultivation is called zoom farming, which is still practiced in Mizoram today. Major crops of Mizoram include crops like rice, maize, sorghum and millets.
Rice is the favorite food of the people of Mizoram. However, due to lack of suitable land for cultivation in Mizoram, rice production is not very high and therefore the Indian government has to send rice to Mizoram from other states.
Maize production is also high in Mizoram. Apart from this, fruits like banana, papaya, orange pineapple and grapes are also found in Mizoram. Ginger is also very famous in Mizoram.
Also, spices like turmeric, chilli and cinnamon are also good in Mizoram. Betel nut is also popular in Mizo society, due to which pan and kaseli are also cultivated here.
Mizoram is famous for jum cultivation. Their daily life revolved around agricultural activities. They clear the forest, burn trunks and leaves and cultivate the land.
In Mizoram, most of the tribal people speak the Mizo language. Most of the older people and people in rural areas know few languages other than Mizo. With time the youth and new generation also know English and Hindi very well. Mizo is the main language of Mizoram.
The predominant religion is Christianity. 87.16% of Mizoram’s population are Christians in various denominations, mainly Presbyterian and the church is an important part of Mizo culture.
The Buddhist population, at 8.5%, makes them the largest minority, followed by Hindus at 2.7%. About 1.3% of the state’s population is Muslim. The remaining 3,000 people belong to Sikhs, Jains and other religions.
The food of Mizoram can be seen as a fusion of North Indian and Chinese ingredients. The combination of these two makes the food taste unique here. The people of Mizoram consume mostly non-vegetarian food in their cuisine.
Along with this they also consume proper amount of vegetables in their meals. Food is usually served here on banana leaves, which is the culture of the place.
The staple here is rice, and they don’t forget to include fish in their meals. Most of the recipes here use zero or very little oil.
The main dish of Mizoram is bai which is a combination of several vegetables cooked with string beans and edible ferns. This Mizoram dish is prepared with basan green copra, cauliflower pieces, chopped potatoes and rice.
It is easily found everywhere during a visit to Mizoram. A wrap is a smoked meat (fish, chicken, pork or beef).
Which is infused with the flavor of chilies, local herbs and fresh leafy greens, chum han is mixed steamed vegetables, hamracha rot is a tangy and spicy chili sauce, bekang is fermented soybeans.
Apart from these dishes, you have two popular drinks in Mizoram. One of them is ju or local tea. Which they prefer to drink almost with food. Another is the Lubraska grape wine.
Which is a favorite drink among the locals. They don’t have any popular sweet which is popular only in this state but they make kot pitha which is also popular in other north eastern states.
The native clothing of the Mizos is known as Puan (Puwan), which means cloth in the Mizo language and is used more or less equally by both men and women.
Puan, an apron-like garment in a rectangular shape, is one of the most important traditional garments in Mizoram. Puans are woven by women on waist looms.
The waist loom is very versatile in the sense that it supports a range of possibilities that can be woven with intricate designs and motifs. Paunmizo has pride of place in women’s wardrobe.
This motif has traditional and cultural significance for each caste. The traditional way of wearing a puan is to wrap it around the waist. Modern girls can be seen wearing western blouses with puan.
A puan of the same color is called Thilchah. Puanchei is the most colorful dress and every Mizo lady uses it. Kavarchi is a special blouse for women,
Mizo men wrap themselves in a piece of cloth about 7 feet long and 5 feet wide. In the cold season, some additional cloth is used, with a white coat over one, coming down from the neck to the thighs.
White and red bands adorn the sleeves of these coats filled with designs. Ngotekherh is a traditional puan worn around the waist which was originally a men’s puan but is now worn by both men and women alike.
Humar is a small handwoven fabric of handspun cotton and indigo dye. Sihna hano is a beautifully embroidered silk puan of Mera, used by both men and women.
Dance and music
Mizo society is very famous for its traditional folk dances. These dances have always been a part of Mizoram’s festivals and celebrations. Chero, one of the three most important dances of Mizoram, Chonglaizon and Khoalam dance are among the most famous dances of Mizoram.
Chero dance is the most famous dance of the Mizo tribes. Long bamboos are used in this dance. Apart from this Chero Dance is also called Bambu Dance or Bambu Dance.
These dances are performed in groups of four. In which men dance with women. Men hold this bamboo and women dance inside it. Women dance to the beat of drums playing outside.
The Chonglaizon dance is mainly performed by people of the Lai or Pawai tribe. This is a very special type of dance. During this dance men and women dance wearing traditional puan or colorful shawls.
The belief behind this dance is that it is performed in times of both happiness and sorrow. The Khoallam dance is the dance of the guests. People are invited to this dance.
Apart from this – people from different villages also participate in this dance. Here khol means – guest and lam means dance. Apart from this, Mizoram has other folk dances such as Solkin, Solkai, Chailam and Paralam, which are organized periodically.
People of Mizoram are also very fond of music. His music is very soft and melodious. The guitar is the most prominent instrument used in Mizoram music.
Apart from this, people here also use drumming, wind and stringed instruments. The music played by the instruments includes some of the main ones such as Tingtang, Lemlawi and Tuimdar.
In addition to the music played by the drum, there are also music such as talhkhuang, khuang, dar, bengbung and sek. Mizo music played by wind, blows also has many names.
This music includes songs like Hannahtum, Mautawatrol, Rochem and Tumfit. Apart from this Mizoram has some other folk music which is played on various occasions and festivals.
Fairs and Festivals
The festivals of Mizoram are grand and full of joy. and together represent the cultural heritage of the Mizos. Festivals are celebrated here with great enthusiasm and grandeur.
Here, costumes, traditional dances and ceremonies form the main part of these festivals. Agriculture plays an important role in the lives of the people of Mizoram.
Hence almost all the festivals of Mizoram are centered on agriculture. Which is celebrated on occasions like sowing, harvesting and seasons. Mizoram celebrates some or the other festival throughout the year. The tribes living here have their own festivals.
If you tell us about some of the major festivals of Mizoram, some of the major festivals like Chhapchar Koot, Meem Koot and Pal Koot are celebrated here.
Chafar Kutha festival in Mizoram is celebrated during cultivation of Jhum. In Jhum cultivation, when the forests are cut and left to dry for about a month, when time permits, the Chhapchar Koot festival is celebrated.
This festival of the Mizo tribe lasts for several days. Which people celebrate with great enthusiasm and fanfare. Mimkut festival is celebrated in the month of July or August after the cultivation of maize.
The Mizo people also celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm and perform songs and dances. Palkoot festival is celebrated in the last week of December.
The belief behind the Palakut festival is that this festival is celebrated throughout the year to pray for a new crop and a good life in the house by the grace of God. Apart from this, this festival is also associated with harvesting of straw.
Arts and Crafts
Traditional crafts of Mizoram are weaving, sugarcane and bamboo work. Mizo women weave intricate traditional designs and patterns on their looms. Hence handloom is the largest cottage industry of the state.
After agriculture, most people find employment in it and it is the main source of income especially for women. Handicrafts from Mizoram include the ‘Khumbeu Ceremonial Hat’ made of waterproof wild hanthial leaves.
This includes other handicraft products such as shawls, cloths, bags, utensils, vases and beautiful bamboo furniture. A wide variety of sugarcane and bamboo handicrafts are also available in the markets of Mizoram.
Mizoram is also famous worldwide for its bamboo forests. People here also produce handicrafts well. Most of the handicrafts made here are made of bamboo.
Craftsmen of Mizoram are so expert in weaving and embroidery that people are compelled to buy the handicrafts made by them. The handloom industry plays a crucial role in the socio-economic development of most of the rural people in the northeastern region.
Mizoram is a small state. So not much of a tourist spot here. The city of Aizawl is home to the Highlanders with a distinct tribal culture. A museum in Aizawl, the capital of the place, is particularly worth visiting here.
In this museum you can see rare items related to the traditional civilization and culture of Mizoram. Apart from this Bora Bazar and Mizoram’s largest lake Tamdil are also very famous in Mizoram tourism. Bora Bazar and Tamdil Lake.
We also get rare wild buffalo from Mizoram state. A small population of wild elephants and tigers can be seen in Ngengpui and Dampa sanctuaries.
Champhai is a beautiful tourist destination near the Myanmar border. Tamdil is a natural lake with beautiful forests. It is 40 km from Aizawl and 10 km from tourist destination Saitul. Vantawang Falls is the tallest and most beautiful waterfall in Mizoram.
It is five kilometers away from Thenjaval city. The Department of Tourism has constructed tourist lodges in all major towns of the state and highways and passenger accommodation in other towns.
Recreational centers have also been set up at the Alpine Picnic Hut in the District Park near Jobouk and Baro Tlang.