Mizoram is probably one of the most memorable places to be during Christmas. Preparation starts a month early, with each locality decorating their area and Churches, followed by a hectic last-week shopping frenzy and all the tailors of Mizoram toiling their ass out on stitching more than a hundred new suits a day.
I took a couple of snaps of some of the decorations on the streets (I plead guilty to being an amateur photographer!)
Christmas eve included the usual Church service and caroling. Later in the night, my sisters and I placed the Christmas gifts for our two nieces (age 4 and 9) on the “thlang-ra”, a large traditional plate used as a substitute for the westernized version of Christmas stockings meant for Santa’s gifts.
This is a pic of my two nieces (and friend) on the morn of Christmas day, as they tore open the presents from “Santa”.
Here is me infront of our Christmas tree, dressed in my brand new Christmas suit. Hehe. I didn’t notice that my tie was knotted too short in the front and I went to Church like that! Lolz. Well what can I say, I’m an old-timer. *silly grin*
The next day after Christmas, we had the grand feast. This takes place at every locality in Mizoram every year. The day starts at 6 am, where everyone gathers at the feast location to prepare for the feast. The various work is divided, like some group cut the veggies, peeled the potatoes, sliced the meat, constructed the dining area and wash basins, cooked the rice etc etc. It's entirely a voluntary group thingie: That’s what you gotta love about a close knitted society like ours. This is known as “fatu”, which literally means, preparation for the feast.
Close friends, (Dr!)Rintluanga, Valpuia and Muansanga coming for the “fatu”.
With my other closest friends, Sanga & Tluanga (the twins), Mapuia and me waiting for the rest of our gang to arrive at Matea’a place so that we could all go “fatu-ing” together.
Below are some of the snaps taken during the “fatu”.
Veggie section ::
Now comes the meat section! After all, you won’t find any other community that loves meat as much as we do. Pork is our favorite. In Mizoram, pigs are bred with the utmost care on specialized farms, fed with the best food possible, inorder to get the most scrumptious and tastiest yummy meat. Sluuurrp! [Warning: Explicit content. Not meant for the faint hearted or timorous la-di-da metropolitan. ]
In the evening, when all the food is finally ready, the feast starts. People take turns at the counters, serving the others, only to be replaced by those who finish eating. And meanwhile, groups of 16-18 years old guys roam around the locality as designated “security” because this is one occasion when nobody’s at home anywhere.
Feastings like this pull everyone closer and closer. There is no such thing as a class divide or social status difference; all are equal. Man you gotta love Mizoram for that.
And all over our locality, the KTP, Kristian Thalai Pawl, roughly translated into the “Christian Youth Wing”, has put up posters everywhere.
“Let’s spend Christmas and New Year merrily without alcohol and drugs”.
“Jesus does not want you to celebrate his birthday with alcohol and drugs”.
“Let us all spend Christmas and New Year with Jesus.”.
And last but not the least, this is what my “Santa” got me from UK. Authentic Arsenal jersey, Official 2007 Arsenal Calendar and an original Arsenal muffler. Wooohooo!!!
Once again, season’s greetings everyone! Peace.