Resistance

The Introduction of African Rice in Suriname

Genetic research into rice from the inlands of Suriname draws attention to the history of West Africans who were deported as slaves to this former Dutch colony. While there are many grains of Asian rice, Surinamese black rice, ‘Blaka aleisi’, turned out to be almost identical to rice farmed by Mande-speaking farmers in West Ivory Coast according to research by Tinde van Andel. This rice was rarely eaten but instead was sacrificed to ancestors and used in spiritual herbal baths.

A Flag, a Story and a Nation

One of the first women to ever weave the Naga national flag, Lathon Kemp, passed away on the 5th of January, 2021. The news of her death brings to mind the flag and the very important place it holds in the life of the Nagas. Although, it was hoisted for the first time on the 22nd of March in 1956 in the Parashen-Rengma region, the Nagas believe the flag to have a divine origin and not designed by any mortal. A red, green and yellow rainbow is spread out against a field of blue which represents the sky.

Independence and Freedoms

The whole Naga struggle, it is purely because of the invasion by India...this here is our land, this is ours. The coming of the English language too has given us new terms to describe us, including the word “indigenous” which itself is a way of saying that we are under India and it distorted our definition of who we are. After the British invasion, India too thought of us as a weak people and that it has a sense of ownership over us that led to the making of the state. It was an opportunity for Nehru to show a backup plan by giving us statehood which we didn’t ask for.

Cloth as Vehicle of Malian Crisis

This large cotton boubou, well sewn, shows one of the designs that reflect the Malian crisis. The product comes from Douentza (located in the 5th region of Mali). The elements seen on the boubou illustrate the proliferation of the crisis. Each element is in the form of a hook and the two small dashes from top to bottom to show the continuation of the chain. The arrangement of the design forms a chain of problems.

Dust

Nini Lungalang is an important voice in Naga poetry. She taught English and classical music in Northfield School, Kohima, Nagaland. In the poem Dust, she voices the experiences of numerous Naga brothers and sisters who have lost their lives. 

Who Am I?

Cheryl Jacob, Coordinator (content & curriculum design) wrote Who am I? for the session on Day 2:Reading/Writing/Re-writing/Telling/Re-telling using prompts, 20 December 2019.

Who am I? I am free. I am free to flow, free in nature. I take the state that nature gives me. In your hands I am turned into something that nature, perhaps, did not intended me for. But then who knows.

Disappearing Aura

Simi Mariya Thomas, Research Scholar, MIDS, re-imagined an article circulated as pre-workshop reading in context of her work for the session Reading/Writing/Re-writing/Telling/Re-telling using prompts, 20 December 2019.

The temporary aura of Kannagi statue, in Chennai, which was visible during its installation as well as disappearance made me think about the current media culture.

Naga Women's Freedom (1)

Field of Baby's Breath

I wish I could wear 
a pretty Pale Pink
ankle-length Calico dress
with frills, flounces and lace,
break out of the mould
abandon the stereotypes
and get into my working clothes

Our brothers are a war
Our land is awash with blood
Our rice fields need tending
Our children caring
Our sick healing
Our streets cleaning
Our enterprises running
Our home fires burning

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