A though on our people

In the context of “The Panglong Agreement, 1947” the representatives from Chin Hills are not representing their villange (i.e, Saizang). If we look at those label after their name, we can see since those time how much diverse or how much eagerness we have to diversify ourselves base on the village and towns.

Chin Hill Representatives
1. Pu Hlur Hmung (Falam)
2. Pu Thawng Za Khup (Tiddim)
3. Pu Kio Mang (Haka)

The above three of them did not represent their own villages. If it were then Thawng Za Khup was not from Tedim town but from Saizang just like the other two are. If we are keen to mention the birth place of Pu Thawng Za Khup, we might likewise need to include the villages of Pu Hlur Hmung and Pu Kio Mang. We (including me?) have a habit of digging very detail of our history by village, clan or religious denomination instead of a broader, including and general overview which could unify us better. (We know the village of Pu Thawng Za Khup which is Saizang village of Tedim Township but not the other two, at least in my limited knowledge).

Therefore, they are representative of the (3) main Townships in Chin Hill during those days. Tedim (Tiddim) is a general term for people living in the current Tedim, Tonzang and Cikha (3) townships as well as some who are in the Kalay Kabaw Valley and Saggaing Divisions in the context of the Panglong Agreement. I repeatedly mention the word “G-Group.” People from the North who uses no “R” in their alphabet. They canbe referred to as the “Ciimnuaimi” while the other group can be identified as “Laimi” group (The “R” Group).

After decades of political struggle in Burma from the Top; we the other ethnic groups have a habit of identifying ourselves into smaller and smaller pieces by village/ religion/ clan etc. It have changed quite a lot of the structure of our society today and our perspectives in general in how we communicate each other.

For instance, when we say “Tedim” one could see people from Tedim Town while some others would refer people only from the Tedim Town or Tedim Township as a whole (including Siyin areas/ regions, Saizangs, Khuano and many others etc.). In that case, I personally won’t fit in any of those definition since I am from Tonzang township but speaking the Teizang dialect (accent) originally.

TEDIM (TEDDIM) in in the context of “The Panglong Agreement” refers to the whole regions of the current Tedim, Tonzang and Cikha Townsips in which Thado (Kuki) & Zo (Zou) is regarded as a group of major adherents in Tonzang townships at some contexts. Whether you write Tedim or Tiddim you refer to the same speaking people group or Tedim speaking group of people (i.e, Sizaang, Zo, Teizang and all the others).

During the formation of the ZBC (Zomi Baptist Convention in March 5-7, 1953), the term ZOMI was accepted collectively as our common name for the whole Chin Hills while “Chin” is also regarded as an alternate name given by the British as our national identity. But things have chanced since then. We not only diversify Chin and Zomi seperately but also Villages, Religious Denominations, Clans, Townships and Towns etc. Therefore, we, the new generation have a social responsibility to reunite all these splintering groups- The Brotherhood!

Who are we waiting for to fix all these, if not now & in our generation? 

I can foresee that in the next decade, some of our generations might struggle with identity crisis especially those who migrate in the West. 

Therefore, we need to compile a common platform. We might not be able to work on with the existing platforms since our seniors have tried for decades and have not completely success yet. So, we might need to find a new approach and method to reunite all of our people regardless of once’s identity preferences, creeds, townships, dialects, accents, geographical boundaries (Especially for India and Myanmar while keeping in mind of the Bangladesh too).