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My first encounter with the word was in Bhopal, when I reached there for higher studies some four years back.
"Hey why don't you look like Chinkis?" The first person I met with yelled after I introduced myself. I did have no Idea what does Chinki mean. I produced a questioning face. Next moment threw a flat smile as if I knew what he tried to know but not interested in answering.

Next time it was from my classmate I met with first…I decided to give up hesitations and ask what it means…I felt some kind of current passing through my spine when he enriched my knowledge saying " that is how people from North East (NE), especially the youths"
"Why is it so?"

"Their look, their dressing, and the way they carry themselves around. When we heard that a boy from Guwahati has joined our class, we were expecting just some one with big swollen eyes, in jeans and Tees, with an awkward haircut, and a damn care look…. But you are so different!"

I felt disgraced. I felt pity about the knowledge most of the people from the "Hindi belt" keep regarding the Northeastern parts of the country for whom the eight states of Northeast are just as unicolour as the Sahara desert...

Even though they accept the geographical inclusion of the NE states in the same country they are living, not ready to accept the inhabitants. Everyday I meet with people who find it difficult to consume that the youth from NE more comfortable with English than that of Hindi. They find it difficult to accept that when it comes to the status of man and woman, most of the societies in NE are far more flexible than the main land there's the pseudo caste...Chinkis...

When I joined rest of my classmates, I have to face the same question many times, in different forms. For most of them I was a big surprise as after seeing me only they came to know that there are non tribes also in the NE states. There are people whose features match to some extent to them.

I should have been happy, the fact that I was not considered one of the Chinks...but whenever I hear some one I felt blood passing through my veins reaching their boiling point

New Delhi

September 16, 2005

Publication inspired by The Unknown Indians of Mindless Musings


Soumyadip said…
The region divide is so ingrained in the psyches of the people of 'mainland' India is that they do not even realise that they are demeaning a culture and the people. When I mentioned to some colleagues of mine that we feel the word 'Chinky' to be derogatory, they were surprised?

The perception about the people from far eastern India is prejudiced. Yes, we have more freedom for individuals there unlike the feudal social structure here and this is interpreted as lack of morals.

In Delhi and other cities of 'India' northeasterners stay isolated from the general population only because they are never made to feel that they belong here.
che said…
I always enjoy reading your entries. You always have interesting topics..keep it up! :)
jac said…
I would like to be one like that.

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