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In urban and suburban Nagaland, as in many of the conflict-affected regions of India's North-East, such signs calling into action people and collectives are commonly visible. In this poster, the church as site of popular resistance is agency for mobilisation of constituencies such as the youth towards a unified struggle for the Naga nation.
Phool Walon Ki Sair meaning "procession of the florists" is an annual celebration by the flowers sellers of Delhi. It is a three-day festival, generally held just after the rainy season in the region of Mehrauli. The grand procession that followed Mirza Jahangir’s return in 1812 witnessed the flower sellers of the city bringing floral chadar (sheets) and pankha (fan) as offerings. This became an annual event, with a large fair and a series of cultural performances held near Shamsi Talab.
In the remote Naga hills , beyond the capital city of Kohima, stands the beautiful and historic village of Khonoma. Traditionally a site of resistance, having pushed back British rule in the region from the 1830s to 1880, Khonoma continues to be a space striving towards safeguarding the rights of women while strengthening Naga unity through organisations like the Khonoma Women Union, in whose honour this obelisk stands marking its 25 years in 2013.
The photograph, taken in the 1970s, shows Mohammad Anwar, an old time resident of Mehrauli, posing in front of the old Phasi Ghar in Mehrauli, Delhi. Today in place of this old structure stands the Jain temple named Ahinsa Sthal.
Spaces in the neighbourhood of Mehrauli , Delhi, have changed drastically over the years. However, there are many streets and localities in the neighbourhood that are still remembered, by name, for the kind of people who lived or did business there. One such example is Doodh waali gali. The interviewee, an old time resident of the neighbourhood, describes in the audio how the street came to be known as doodh waali gali because of the doodh and halwai shops that once populated that street.
A farmer threshes his harvested crop in the village of Paliya Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh. In the age of combine harvesters, small scale farmers still rely on traditional methods such as bullock treading (seen in the picture) for threshing of crops, followed by winnowing. A common practice in many parts of the world, this particular method involves a herd of cattle tied to a wooden pole, made to tread in circles on the threshing floor where the dried crop is spread out.
Pipariya Railway Station in district Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, India was primarily established as the railhead for the Military Cantonment town of Pachmarhi. The present excerpt narrates the politics of everyday spaces at the station in the initial days. The excerpt has been translated from Hindi (Text: Pipariya, 2000 by Narayandas Maurya). The picture is only for representation purposes.
Story from an Intercommunity Dialogue on Rice Cultures and Cultivation
Ag lainai, the ritual of cutting the first fruits of paddy
Kaushalya has been selling laces in the Saturday weekly street market in Shadipur, West Delhi, for over 10 years. She is one of the very few women street vendors who make a living by selling various products across weekly markets in Delhi. In Shadipur Shani Bazaar, of the 350 plus street vendors only 10-12 of them are women.
Every mother tongue has sounds and sighs that utter laments and express hope. The word Ayaakho Ojala is derived from the Ao Indigenous tribal language and is the ultimate angst that is often invoked by women. It signifies a mother’s strength and comfort. As a woman utters it, she finds relief and rest from the pain of patriarchy that seeks to crush her down.
When the day came to be, Kohima was resplendent in sunshine. It was January 10, 2018, the first Naga Day. At the Kohima Local Ground, Khuochiezie, music played from the early morning hours.In the surrounding market area, people hummed the tunes as they set up shop. Some planned to go to the ground, some planned to watch from their terraces—everyone had heard this one thing, Nagas from everywhere were coming together.
The Shadipur Shani Bazaar, known for the cheap and affordable stitched and pre-stitched fabric it offers, is one of the main attractions of the Shadipur neighbourhood. Spread entirely by word of mouth, the low prices at the market attracts customers from other parts of West Delhi, India. Hi-end boutique owners from Karol Bagh come here as well to buy fabric and bling to accessorise their products.
According to Bobby, a resident who sells children’s clothes in the market,
Suresh Godani (70), a resident of Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh, talks about the changing town-scape vis-à-vis the changes in local agricultural economy. A translated excerpt from our recorded conversation:
The community Bakhri (Granary) at Thuribari, Kokrajhar, is one of the few such Bakhris seen nowadays in Assam. Community Bakhri is representative of a communal living and sharing. Located in an open village space just opposite the Brahma temple, these three small raised mud houses look ordinary but the significance and relevance of them in Thuribari community life is clearly visible from the well-maintained condition of it.
The traders here accept all the three West African Currencies for transactions (CFA, Niara, Ghana Cedis). Irrespective of whichever currency a buyer offers, the shopkeepers are able to convert and give change when required. It is interesting how they (shopkeepers) are not limited in anyway among themselves despite the physical border restrictions.
Bhagat Singh Library and Cultural Centre (1983-1990) was an initiative of a grassroot organisation called Kishore Bharti in Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh. The Library/Centre focused on creating social awareness through reading, writing and community based activities. While the library started as a space for all the sections, a need was soon felt to add a separate slot to encourage women readers. In the following excerpt, Rekha Vyohaar, a resident of Pipariya, shed light on how the setup was significant to the women at the local level:
The different varieties of rice are differentiated on the basis of their qualities, nutrition, features, and taste. Though there are many varieties of rice, based on my interview, Paw San still takes the first place. The rice shop owners that I talked to said that Paw San is the best seller althoug its 'price is a little high'. Mostly, people from the middle class consume it. But Shwe Bo, Zi Yar and many others are moslty used by the Hta Min Sai, the restaurants, because of their low price and suitability for their business.
Each time when Hin Lad Nai villagers work on their farmland – either alone or with their friends and families, they usually practice the ceremony called ‘Hliang-Phi Jaothi’. In Hliang-Phi Jaothi they offer some of their food to the guardian spirit or ‘Phi Jaothi’ before having lunch. In practicing the ceremony, they first prepare some food on banana leaves, they pray and call on Phi Jaothi to eat the food. The eldest man from each household does this this process. He holds the rice pack (made from banana leaves), and lays it on stump before squatting down and praying.
Pati Preecha Siri is regarded as a very respectful elder among the villagers of Hin Lad Nai community. He was honoured by the United Nations, on April 10th 2012, at Istanbul, Turkey, with the “Forest Hero Award” for the the whole community's work in protecting and preserving the forest. There were only five people selected to receive the award from 47 people and 30 countries around the world, and Pati Preecha was the one selected from Asia.