TODAY -

E-Pao! EI - Bangladeshi Meetei

Bangladeshi Manipuri or Bangladeshi Meetei

By: Rajmoni Wahengbam*



Sometimes, I do not know whether I am Bangladeshi Manipuri or Bangladeshi Meetei. To my knowledge, the people of Manipur should be known as Manipuri. But I am no longer living in Manipur. I know, I belong to Meetei ethnic in Bangladesh. So, what will be my identity? I like to introduce myself as Bangladeshi Meetei. Politically, I have to say I am Manipuri in Bangladesh but I am a Meetei in terms of ethnic. There are Sanamahism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism in Manipur. We are Manipuri and nothing else should be in Manipur.

I speak Manipuri and I know my ancestor came from Manipur. As long as we do not know the Motherland, we cannot develop. We should love three things: Mother, mother tongue and motherland. Some are surviving in Bangladesh because of these feelings. When someone lost these feelings, he would lose his identity it can be anywhere. Some are speaking Bengali to be a pure Bengali in Bangladesh. Neither their pure Bengali nor pure Manipuri. They are in the middle of Manipuri. These types of Manipuris are easy to lose their identity. What I want to say is; we should learn Manipuri as well as Bengali. But we should not forget to learn English, as it is an international language.

In July 2003, I went to a Manipuri family with my friend in Bangladesh. Actually, my friend took me over there. They live in a town. I found that all their family members are educated but they do not speak Meeteilon. I was deeply shocked by their activities. I felt pity for them. One Graduate girl from this family wanted to talk to me in Bengali and was interested about Norway. Finally, I said I prefer to talk with my mother tongue. I know Bengali language but I use whenever I need it. But I do not use Bengali with the Meetei. There is peace in my mother tongue. And there is a hidden love in my mother tongue. Why should not we be multilingual with mother tongue?

Identity can be saved by ideologies and these ideologies come from his or her base (parents, family, society, surrounding environment etc). In Bangladesh when a Meetei is born, his or her family and society shape the brain. Finally they are shaped by schooling, interaction of different types of people, mass media etc. We are living in the 21st century. It is very hard to escape from the modern influences or external forces. We have ethnic boundaries. But we are not beyond the ethnicity. Charles Darwin already said; survival of the fittest. If we do not know how to cope with present world, there is nothing to do. And nobody will do for us.

Let me say something about the real situation of Bangladeshi Nupi. When a Meetei nupi is matured, she needs some social demand as well as biological at that time she faces dilemma if she has more interactions. Most of the Manipuri are economically not so sound. But her non- Manipuri friends are economically sound and have good education. What should she do now? She wants to leave her parents and society because her dream is lead a smart life after marriage with a non- Manipuri. This is her individual choice but her choice affects the whole Manipuri society and patterns. The society is the production of many actors' /events. After marriage with a non- Manipuri, some months or years later, she found that life is different then what she was thinking earlier. She has to accept all punishments such as giving in to the threat of divorce, being considered as tribal background and daily kicking. She has to work like a housemaid. She will not be even considered as a human being. She is bound to accept all these punishments. Otherwise, she will be divorced in a single word. If she is divorced, where should she go now? She has to commit suicide or to become a prostitute. This is the final stage of Manipuri girl in Bangladesh , who like to have a smart life after marriage. While I visited Sylhet in November 2003, I came to know that a University Graduate Manipuri girl left her family and married with a non- Manipuri. She was from a rich educated family. If a University Graduate, Manipuri girl does like this, what can other Manipuri girls learn from her? While writing this article, one of my friend from Bangladesh informed me that another is gone again with non- Manipuri. The flow of this trend (ones' action) affects the whole society when it is aggregated. Every Manipuri is important, and he plays important role in society. 'My mother is more beautiful than any other mothers. When this metaphoric related meaning is broken, there will be chaos in society''. I do not know how to stop this trend in Bangladesh. Interestingly, Manipuri boys do not follow this trend. Even people are not taking any action regarding this matter. As we are a small number of people, we have some taboos in Manipuri society. Actually, it has been following since the beginning of migration from Manipur. If once a Manipuri girl is gone, she will be gone forever. I also think that above-mentioned trends are not uncommon in Manipur and Manipuri habitat areas in this world. As long as we do not help ourselves, nobody will help us. At least we should protect our Manipuri gene pool.

Now, there is not a single Manipuri family, in Manipuri para in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Can we imagine? They used to live in the heart of Capital and near the parliamentary house. They may leave Manipuri para after failing to cope with the given environment. There is a big place in Dhaka called Manipur. Manipur has covered a huge area in Dhaka. I did work in this Manipur but I found only that there were Manipuri once upon a time. We are proud that our ancestor was given the name as Manipur in Dhaka.

National hero, Hijam Irabot was also student of Dhaka (Saint Pogos High School). The first finance minister of Manipur was also student of Sylhet MC Collge. The first Manipuri matriculate Wahengbam Yumjao was also student of Sylhet Pilot High School. Some archaeological relics are about to vanish from Bangladesh, which are related with our history. If we forget these relics, we will forget ourselves very soon.

We should understand our values. Here value means the Manipuri. How can we create our values ourselves? If we interpret our cultural values in a proper way, I want to claim that the Manipuri is a God gifted community. But we failed to understand ourselves. When people do not understand themselves, they lose their road. When a nation lost his culture; they would lose something, which are hard to make up by any other things. To my knowledge, our society may be controlled more or less by the earlier mentioned three things (mother, mother tongue and motherland), if we know how to interpret these. My recommendation is, we must preserve our identity by hook or by crook. In the case of Bangladesh, there is some lacking of interaction among the Manipuris of Bangladesh. I think we need long-term thoughtful social reform to sustain our identity in Bangladesh. Finally, I want to say we are surviving for the fittest, not for extinction.




The writer is a student of Social Anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway. You can contact him at [email protected]

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Is Delhi doing the right thing ?
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Modi's arduous journey & fate of Naga peace
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Autism: Why fit in, when you can stand out?
  • Bloodstained Masquerade :: Poem
  • Dharamvir Singh: Forgotten hero of TV
  • What is keeping the clash going on ?
  • Warning of a coming politico-military storm
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #6
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Timeline
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Gallery
  • Are we on track to end AIDS by 2030 ?
  • 3 writers from Manipur for Sahitya Akademi
  • Manipur's traffic, parking: A big nuisance
  • Career in elderly care
  • Keeping the folks under a state of confusion
  • Nothing neat about NEET
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Id Festival- 'Id-Ul-Azha' :: Book
  • World Day to Combat Desertification 2024
  • NDPP did not lose LS due to local problem
  • RSS chief says, priority Manipur
  • What if not IIT ?
  • Waiting for a response from the PM
  • The test of leadership failed
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #35: Download
  • Gastronomy tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Triathlon : Manipur bag 6 medals (3 gold)
  • Illegal immigrants/fugitives from Myanmar
  • Eid-ul-Adha: Embracing sacrifice
  • A solution to Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict
  • The Power of Poppy - 35 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: R K Brojen Singh
  • Brief sketch on General Balaram Sougaijamba
  • Non-violent for peaceful, mutual co-existence
  • Homeless person ..alcoholism & defeated TB
  • Cancer on rise among young adults
  • Defending, fighting for Idea of Manipur
  • From partiality to complicity
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • 'Modi must announce finality of Naga pacts'
  • Gliding over Brahmaputra
  • Question leaks cause stress among student
  • Home remedies for prickly heat
  • After IIT, AIIMS it is now IIM
  • Stealing spotlight from Manipur crisis
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #2 : Gallery
  • Strongly condemns violence in Jiribam
  • Lessons from outcome of LS election
  • Tumcho releases "Goodness of God"
  • Right diagnostic for antimicrobial resistance
  • 12th June is World Day against Child Labour
  • Hands of geo-politics ?
  • The row over NEET-2014
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Chilli Chicken: Film Spotlighting NE in B'lore
  • Committee of Narcotics Anonymous - Imphal
  • The Power of Meditation
  • Oceans as a career choice
  • Getting more and more audacious
  • A test of leadership
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Gifting two seats to Cong
  • Voters empowered democracy
  • Postcards from Meghalaya premieres
  • Milk : Essential nutrient for a healthy body
  • Failing in competitive exam not end of world
  • Delhi : A mere spectator
  • Abandoning Jiribam
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #5
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Mainstream in Shoes of Alternative
  • Protect the medicines that protect us
  • Lets take action for our land & our future
  • Democracy and independent media
  • Agenda at work to shut Western Gate
  • Keeping Manipur on the boil
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #34: Download
  • The Enigmatic Journey of 'Laikhutshangbi'
  • Individual and the Social
  • An Ardent Appeal to All Concerns
  • Condemnation of Attack & Govt Inaction
  • The Power of Poppy - 34 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Alien fishes spotted in Manipur's rivers
  • Training on mushroom at Langthabal
  • Digital avatars or deepfakes ?
  • 7th June is the World Food Safety Day
  • How to prepare for UPSC after 10th ?
  • The Jiri violence
  • Beginning of a new vote culture ?
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • BJP, NPF & other NDA pay heavy price
  • Nature is one of greatest blessings of God
  • Plantation drive in Tripura, Assam & Manipur
  • Summer beauty
  • Environment conservation & over-exploitation
  • Is Modi cut out for leading a coalition ?
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec students
  • 1st foundation day of Interfaith Forum
  • World Environment Day: Our land, our future
  • Indonesia stronger anti-tobacco measures
  • Navigating a fragile Myanmar: India's policy
  • New breed entering electoral politics
  • The road to formation of new govt
  • International Dance Day #1 : Gallery
  • Matchbox marketing mantra
  • Stop harming nature :: Poem
  • Saving for oneself & the Nation
  • Model United Nations (MUN) conducted
  • Tobacco: Threat to health & environment
  • Candidate from ruling party biting the dust
  • The verdict
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #4
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Navigating Remal amidst Manipur conflict
  • We are #GenerationRestoration
  • Intl Day of Innocent Children Victims
  • Apparel Industry Skills & Innovation CoE
  • What's in a cyclone's name ?
  • Ongoing clash, the floods, the losses
  • Exit poll predictions
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #33: Download
  • Evading flood & rethinking urbanization
  • Manipur Flood: Health Advisory
  • Onus on civil bodies to ensure NNPG unity
  • Rats also cause flood
  • Benefits of JEE Main mock tests
  • People have spoken, now the results
  • The fury of Remal
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • The flood in our Stars
  • The Power of Poppy - 33 :: Poem
  • 'Group of people misrepresented themselves'
  • EV industry and career options
  • Scientist of Manipur: Chandrakant Aribam
  • Candy flavoured traps to hook next Gen
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #2
  • Tobacco affects health & environment too
  • Jio extend validity for Customer in Manipur
  • Students must learn about AI irrespective
  • As vote count day approaches : Floods
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Flooded : Sacrifice of Yairipok's Maiden
  • World No Tobacco Day 2024
  • Chandam Rishikanta wins NPC Nat'l C'ship
  • Flood: Helpline numbers for emergency
  • Battling body odour ?
  • Floods : Not entirely natural phenomena
  • PM Modi's purpose
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Flood: Control Rooms & Helpline numbers
  • Economic impact of ongoing conflict
  • Army Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Cut deficit, boom likely
  • Are Gods angry ? Wake up call for Manipur
  • Beating of the Retreat #2 : Gallery
  • We did Overcome: Mayhem of Month of May
  • Training on mushroom at Potshagbam
  • Famous female Mathematicians in India
  • Disinformation campaign thengnare
  • Human trafficking puts humanity to shame
  • Sky opens up in all its fury
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Downplaying the crisis
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD