Mizo varsity to host international seminar on Chins

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Aizawl, Oct 12 (UNI) The Mizoram University (MzU) will host an international seminar on exploring the history, culture and identity of the Chin groups from October 13 to 15.

The three-day seminar, which aims at raising awareness about the loss of identity and generating consciousness to restore the ethnic and cultural identities of the Chin community across the globe, has been organised by Department of History and Ethnography, Mizoram University, and sponsored by Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office.

''This is the first time Mizoram University is holding such a seminar. As many as 30 experts from abroad and the same number from within India are expected to participate in the seminar. We are expecting more than 150 people to attend with many special guests, including Professor F K Lehman and Professor George Bedell,'' coordinator of the seminar Dr K.Robin from the Department of History and Ethnography told UNI here today.

A host of speakers involving the academics, activists and various experts working in the field will elaborate on various issues from different perspectives pertaining to the Chin history, culture and identity.

''The Chins who are the indigenous people occupying large territories, hitherto called Chin-Lushai Country, are now separated by international boundaries of nation-states like Burma, India and Bangladesh in recent years, becoming minorities among the larger communities in the new nation-states. The ethnic groups in these modern nation-states perceive threats to their identity in some geographical locale,'' a statement of the seminar said.

With a strong belief on the importance of identity retention especially among smaller ethnic groups like the Chins, the event will also focus on finding ways to preserve and protect the culture and tradition of a people who are in the process of losing their identity with the 'nationalist upsurges' in the 20th century.

UNI ZS DPM AB 1532

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