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Showing posts from January, 2008

Those Winters Days And The Breakfast

Do you remember, in this winter season, exactly when you last had a meal with Leaur Pata and Bual fish hau (curry) popularly known as Leaua Buale served alongside hot-hottie rice! Well, frankly speaking I don’t remember when I last had this meal. Even if I had the same stuff now it wouldn’t meet the aroma and taste the water of my village used to carry. Damn sure of it! Not enough! How is about taking pet bujia breakfast with Paltoi and chusor jit pura hukon in the early winter morning. It is absolutely mind blowing, Isn’t it! I don’t know about you, at my end these meals has remained, and are at the back of my brain - deep inside at the bottom. Another aspect, again very special to me, had been eagerly waiting in the morning to eat the curry of the previous night in breakfast. The taste of the curry totally changes in the morning. It comes out fantabulous. Again, a very special ingredient of the winter season, going with every meal is Fakitam . The smell of it is enough to inci

Community You Belongs To Does Matter!

In India, ones community do tell a lot. The community you belong determines many things. It works as your social identity. How.. By Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi Friends, here is a story that I would never forget and it is related of myself being a Bishnupriua Manipuri. Being a Bishnupriya Manipuri does help, especially in a situation where you don’t have anything to show as your identity. And there the community you belong is taken as granted as your identity. In places like Jammu and Kashmir, presently trouble torn state carrying an identity is compulsory for anyone. You don’t know when security personnel demands from you. Not to mention, security in Kashmir is a prime concern, especially for security personnel posted there. Unfortunately, I have completed my schooling from this state at that time when terrorism was at peak. Not making the story long. Here it is .. It happened that to collect my class 12 result I went to my school situated inside the highly guarded Kashmir Airport that

What Are Rituals?

What are rituals? Are rituals the dead remains of our ancestors? There are many questions associated with it that has to be addressed. It is still intriguing to many, and it is. It is one among many questions that has no answers. Ranita Sinha, Kolkata It is said that the soul does not die. There is a strong belief in Hinduism that there is life after death. But Christianity does not believe in re-birth. All these are mere assumptions or it may be rightly denoted as belief. There were debates and will always be regarding the cycle of birth and death. We Bishnupriya Manipuri community, being a conservative community, follow an elaborate ritual on anybody's death. With utmost care and devotion all the customs are performed so that the soul of the deceased person may rest in peace. On the 13th day of the death the ' Shradh Ceremony' takes place. On the day of Shradh , in our Bishnupriya Manipuri community, early morning the ritual of " Sajya Katkorani " is perf

The Life of Shri Shri Bhubneshwar Sadhu Thakur Remembered

By Rebati Mohan Sinha On last 27th Jan.08, there was a meeting held in the house of Shri Debbrata Sinha at Hansol, Sardarnagar, Ahmedabad.Gujarat, where the Bishnupriya Manipuri of Ahmedabad were assembled for the first time to listen the life of Shri Shri Bhubneshwar Sadhu Thakur from Shri Rebati Mohan Sinha, the working president of N.B.M.MAHASABHA. Welcoming the gathering, Shri R.M.Sinha, emphasised the outmost need of unity amongst the B.M. residents of Ahmedabad to follow any social/cultural/religious functions such as the celebration of Birth anniversary of Shri Shri Sadhu Thakur.He had given many examples of unity among B.M., and one of them was, a dead body of B.M. woman was lying in Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, for want of cremation and the only son who was present at the hospital bedside phoned up Shri R.M.Sinha, and he immediately gathered B.M. people in front of Tata Memorial Hospital for last rites of the woman. People present at the meeting were spellbound and agree

Where the Bishnupriya Manipuri society is heading?

I was bit confused that day. Does worshipping God relieves one from the responsibilities to follow social and religious customs? I was juxtaposed what our Bishnupriya Manipuri society is becoming. By Tridiv Sinha I visit ' Malthep ' not for religious purposes, but for meeting people. I'm not religious, but I am very much social. A few years back, when I was in my village, I used to go to Rath Pali . The elderly persons in our village pronounced a new rule in order to resurrect the old social customs. It was made compulsory that women/girls should wear Langou-Inafi ; and men/boys wear Irufi . I'm proud to say I followed the rules along with a few others. But I was shocked one day when one of my friends, whom I knew as a very god loving person coming in Jeans n T-shirt started laughing seeing my newly adorn dress. He knew me as an atheist, and he got surprised seeing me in a traditional dress. I made him clear that even though I'm not a religious man, I do respect so

Bishnupriya Manipuri celebrates Republic Day

India is celebrating its 59th Republic Day, this special day is marked by several special events being organized by government as well as by the private institutions. This special day of our country holds a special place, since more than fun and frolic the day is witnessed by culmination of sport activities which takes place in the rural Bishupriya Manipuri villages. By BN Sinha, New Delhi It's a fact that there is cultural and sports club in most of the Bishnupriya Manipuri villages. These clubs generally organize all kind of sports activities in the respective villages; and the who is who of these clubs also holds some sort of power or authority in all the village issues. These clubs also play a significant role in the marriages taking place in the villages specially if the marriage is of a bride as it is a custom for groom party to pay some amount to the local club for developmental purpose , the term is known as " clubor chanda " though groom also has to pay on other

Motherhood With a Price Tag

Motherhood in every woman's life comes as the priceless moment. But is it so...there is a price tag attached to it. By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata Human nature always have an inclination to turn simple things complex. As we Bishnupriya Manipuri also fall in this category, how could we be lacking behind.Rather, it will not be wrong to say that we are a step ahead compared to others. Earlier there was a custom prevalent in our society- where a pregnant lady was fed a meal by her parents on the 7th or 9th month of her pregnancy, with different kinds of delicacies of her choice. Also a few of the elderly relatives and neighbors were invited for the feast. This custom is prevalent in almost all Indian communities. Bengali people call this Sadh Bhokhon . I do not know the exact Bishnupriya Manipuri term for this custom but in general it is called " Baat Khowani ". I do not either know the exact motive or belief behind it but I find it very sweet and emotional gesture. Earlie

A Bishnupriya Manipuri Cuisine: Chinchu

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata A Bishnupriya Manipuri cuisine is not complete without a serving of Chinchu - the mouth watering Bishnupriya Manipuri salad. It is an essential serving in most of the Bishnupriya Manipuri households. Though chinchu require much effort to prepare, yet it is popular as it is very healthy and because of its awesome taste compared to other ordinary salad. It is also full of nutrition. Chinchu requires lots of herbs to be added to it. The main ingredients used for preparing this particular salad are – cabbage( banda kobi ), papaya( khobol ), budding mustard leaves( leur dem ), green chilli and chana. But all these are not enough. Lots of herbs are added to it. They are- phakpoi, tokpaningkong, pirihou, leihapor pata, telikodomor pata and telikodom seed, owar phakeitom, phakeitom etc. For the preparation, first the vegetables and the herbs are properly cleaned and excess water is drained out properly. Then, the vegetables and herbs except, the papaya are finely

Bishnupriya Manipuri Village Unplugged….

A visit to home that is after a decade evokes cornucopia of emotions and tons of reminisces. The village is not the same that it had been when I left... By BN Sinha, New Delhi It was probably first time in twelve years that I visited my native village in winters. Being in cities for livelihood make us very busy confining us to office to home culture, and finding time for vacation form the busy schedule is a bit tough. So visiting back home is always a once in a year affair and that too either in family occasion or in the time of durga pujas. And I always missed the feel of other seasons as for being gone only in a specific season. However , this time I got a chance to visit my home in the winter season , reason for was not very good though. Bit of excitement was running on my head especially after reading Ranita’s article “ Hot potato ”. I was expecting to experience a fair amount of childhood days lost in villages. Days in my village are quite different now especially the winter noons

Biography of Pandit Motilal Sinha

There are many luminous artists of Bishnupriya Manipuri who have enriched the art and culture. Especially in music, in the galaxy of artist, Pandit Motilal Sinha's name comes first. By BN Sinha, New Delhi With conceit I could say that there is no dearth of people who are associated  with art and culture in our Bishnupriya Manipuri community. We have a rich cultural background especially in the field of dance and music. And whenever there will be any discussion about the contribution in Bishnupriya Manipuri music it will not be completed without mentioning the one of the greatest in the Bishnupriya Manipuri legends, Pandit Motilal Sinha's colossal contribution to enrich the Bishnupriya Manipuri art and culture. In my recent visit to Bhakatpur, my village, I had a close tete-a-tete with him. Pt. Motilal was born in Bhakatpur, Silchar, Assam, in the year 1923. He was the third child of the then great Mridanga Badak , Sree Deveshwar Sinha and mother Smt. Kusum Leima Devi

Delimitation Commission and Bishnupriya Manipuri

The Delimitation Commission, established to readjust the territorial constituencies for both the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies, under the chairmanship of Justice Kuldip Singh has submitted its report to the government of India in respect of 25 states of India covering over 513 Lok Sabha constituencies out of 543. So far the report has not included the 4 north eastern states. Sooner or later, when the report will be implemented, the changed political contours, perhaps, will change the future of Bishnupriya Manipuri living in Assam and Tripura. At least in case of Assam, it will change the political colour of the state. It has to be seen whether Bishnupriya Manipuri living in Assam will gain a bit political clout in the redrawn constituencies of the states or in Lok Sabha seats or it remains a submissive community? Before we proceed further, let us know what the Delimitation Commission is all about? Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission have been constituted 4

Look Beyond

I do not find any valid reason for this ritual. As already on the day of the death of the husband an elaborate ritual of breaking the bangles of the wife, wiping her bindi and shedding colorful attire and wearing white clothes, the color of mourning is done. Are, all these act not enough, that her head is being shaved? By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata In a country like India, where so many ill practices like Sati Pratha , dowry system, female infanticide, child marriage etc are prevalent; I feel lucky and proud enough to be born in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, where such ill practices does not exists. But it will be wrong on my part to delineate our Bishnupriya Manipuri community free of any ill practices. It rather practices a more perilous one in the name of custom. It is –"the custom of tonsuring the head of a woman on the 12 th day of the death of her husband". I feel indescribable pain, as I try to put in words this diabolical act. A girl gets married with so many d