The North East Region of India, situated in the corner of the country at the foothills of the Himalayas, is an underrated and often ignored part of the country. The region and its people have been long misunderstood by people in other parts of the country and the world. The distinct physical appearance, food choices, unique culture, and diversity has added to the curiosity and mystery around North East Indians.
The curiosity and unknowingness around North East Indians have given rise to severe discrimination against them. A big reason for this discrimination is the myths about North Indians that are an outcome of half-knowledge, neglect of the education system, and degradation in values among people who create false misconceptions against them. The frequency of this discrimination has become a very awful experience for NE Indians.
So, let us tell you about the top 8 myths about NE Indians and the facts behind them.
1. North East Indians are very modern and western–
The British had set up a religious centre in North East India when they ruled over India. They even built many churches in the place. So, they left an impact on the natives and the people have a modern influence on their lifestyle. Despite it, NE Indians devotedly follow their unique and traditional culture, representing the diversity of India.
2. Militants frequently target northeast Indians–
The common question about North East India searched on the internet has been ‘Is North East India safe’? People believe that militants are common in Northeast India, and they frequently attack the natives and travellers. But, this is not true. The situation was a little sensitive in the 70s and 90s. But, at present, North India is a safe and peaceful place to travel. The military has ensured that the place is safe, and it has tactfully handled the militants. There are a few isolated areas under the high security of the military. Additionally, the government is in constant talks and negotiations with the militants.
3. North East Indians eat snakes and bats–
NE Indians are often confused with Chinese citizens. So, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, there was widespread information that the pandemic originated from eating bats and other live animals. Many people have formed the myth that the NE Indians are bat and snake eaters. They were even isolated and shunned in various parts of the country. But, this is not true. The majority of the North East Indians do not consume bats, and there is no market or food joint selling bats or other live animals as food.
4. Northeast Indians are Non-Patriotic–
North-East Indian states form a long path of Indo-Chinese Border. China often tries to intrigue the region and North East India that has a great strategic significance in the Region. There is a constant myth that North East Indians are Non-Patriotic, and they support China. But, this is a very wrong myth. The people of North East India consider themselves to be an integral part of the country, and many natives of the region have served the nation in the post Independence wars. Furthermore, there are a decent number of soldiers and government officers coming from the region.
5. Chinese cuisine is their staple food–
Another common myth about Northeast India is that Chinese cuisine is their staple food. Many NE Indians are teased over their staple Chinese cuisine. You might hear people asking them, “Do you have noodles every day”? But, this is wrong. Northeast Indian states have numerous kinds of tribes and communities, and each of them has its unique traditional cuisine. Chinese cuisine is not the staple diet of North-East Indian people. Only a handful of items are common between Chinese and NE cuisine due to geographical proximity.
6. North Indians live in treehouses–
There is a myth about North East Indians that they live in a treehouse. The reason for these myths is documentaries on tribals. Also, several tribal villages in Africa have Treehouses for tourists to stay in a unique, local place. But, NE Indians do not live in Treehouses. There are no such treehouses that you will find on your trip to the NE.
7. Hindus are less in North East India–
A common misconception about the religion of North Indians is that they are Christians. In reality, only 3 of the 8 states in NE have a predominantly Christian population. They are Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. Assam, Tripura, and Manipur have Hindu Majority. Hinduism is the most followed religion in the place
8. North East India is a remote place with bad transportation–
North East India is often less talked about in case of development and infrastructure. People feel that just like the 60s and 70s, North East India is a difficult place to access with remote landscapes. In reality, North East India has good connectivity from the air, rail, and roadways.
These are some of the many myths that people have about North East Indians. People feel they are shy and very soft. This can be true for some but not for all. People also think that North Indians cannot speak Hindi. But, you will find many Hindi-speaking natives in North East India.
We have presented the facts behind some of the common myths about North East Indians. In reality, North East India is a very beautiful place with breathtaking natural landscapes. It has a diverse culture and unique traditions that form the identity of the North East Indias. But, the myths against them have been troublesome for them. It is important to get rid of these myths and treat them equally without any discrimination.
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