Ethno-Cultural Immersions across Northeastern India
Sometimes the Seven Sisters of the Northeast (the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura) hardly seem like India at all. The region’s hundreds of tribes and subtribes are slowly embracing modernity, but remain extremely diverse. Nagaland’s former headhunters now go to church on Sundays. Many Arunachalis also attend church-like buildings on Sundays – to worship the sun and moon. Cloudy Himalayan valleys near the border of Tibet are dotted with colourful monasteries, echoing with Buddhist chants and clashing cymbals. These eight states in themselves constitute a single linguistic region with about 220 languages in three different language groups (Indo-Aryan, Sino-Tibetan and Austric). The tribes provide a cultural bridge between India and south East Asia, China, Inner Asia and Burma by ethnic and linguistic angles, as most of these tribes migrated here from the North and the East over the centuries.