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Narrativizing Cultures of the North East


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At the recently concluded UGC-Sponsored National Seminar on “Narrativizing Cultures of the North East”, I was asked to give a small presentation (in absentia) about my experience as a blogger who blogs regularly about the North East.

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Narrativizing Cultures of the North East

  1. 1. Preface: • This presentation is just a small part of a much bigger presentation. • At the UGC-Sponsored National Seminar on “Narrativizing Cultures of the North East” held recently at Government T. Romana College, Aizawl, various scholars and reputed academicians convened and gave presentations related to this topic. • For a subsection of this seminar called “representation in the cyber space”, I was one of the few people invited to give a presentation (in absentia) on this topic! It was an extreme honor to even be considered for such a coveted event. • Basically, they wanted me to talk about what I have done to promote North East or create awareness about the North East using the digital medium, especially when it comes to blogging. • My presentation was edited and presented (in absentia) by my good friend Rini Tochhawng, Assistant Professor, English Department, T. Romana College.
  2. 2. About the presenter (in absentia) – Kima aka “Mizohican” • Been studying outside Mizoram since class 4, Computer Science Engineer, dropped out from IIM-Bangalore • Worked for 5 years at India’s no1 Digital Advertising Agency • Started his own Mobile Games Development Company • Been blogging regularly since 2004, one of India’s earliest • Voted as the “Most Consistent Blogger the past 1 decade” by Indi Platform, 2011. • Selected by TEHELKA Magazine as one of the Game Changers of India (2000-2010) because of his blog content • Appeared on CNN IBN and various national news media on topics about blogging and the North East
  3. 3. First of all…
  4. 4. About Blogging: • The term “Blog” was derived from “Web log”, meaning an entry that was made by a person or a group on the internet. It is a place where you can write about anything you want. • There a different types of bloggers – professional bloggers, technical bloggers, mummy bloggers, foodie bloggers, music bloggers, literature bloggers, medical bloggers, gospel bloggers and so on. • Yes anybody can become a blogger. • But the biggest misconception about blogging is that it is easy. Yes, starting a blog is easy, but being consistent is the difficult part. Of the 500+ Mizo bloggers that I’ve come to known the past 9 years, around 250 have stopped blogging entirely, another 200 bloggers occasionally update their blogs. Currently there are just around 50 Mizo bloggers who update regularly.
  5. 5. Narrativizing Cultures of the North East through blogs: “On Kima’s blog, you can find wit and insight on complex subcultures of the North East. Or wait a long, long time for our literature, cinema or the media to bring it to you.” -TEHELKA Magazine, “Game Changers of India 2000 - 2010”, a special edition.
  6. 6. Importance of being online, as a North Easterner: More awareness about the North East Currently 150 mil Indians online North East ignored in news media
  7. 7. Educating the vast misinformed Indian majority about the North East Source:
  8. 8. Twitter already has quite a number of people from the NE tweeting about our culture & news Notable people like Bina Nepram and Tracy Shilshi (CNN IBN anchor) already has a huge number of followers from the rest of India.
  9. 9. Even emerging platforms like Quora are being used to clear misconceptions about the North East
  10. 10. Facebook is a very effective tool to engage the public to a discussion about the NE
  11. 11. Blogging is another powerful tool to reach to the masses. As a blogger, you can create your own online campaign with friends and see a lot of positive reaction… Source: In 2009, I wrote a blog post called “Operation AIZAWL” because we were sick and tired of seeing “AIZWAL” written in every ticket- booking sites. With the help of other bloggers (aptly called armchair activists) we kept bombarding these sites with mails after mails until they changed the name to AIZAWL from the website. Currently, there are no longer any ticket booking sites showing the capital of Mizoram as Aizwal, thanks to the power of bloggers united for a cause.
  12. 12. Blogging is not limited to just the online world Source: Many of my posts about the North East have appeared not just at other digital platforms, they have been republished across various print media as well. • My 2006 blog post “Chinky: What me insult?” was cross-posted at Telegraph and North East Sun magazines. • My 2007 blog post “Impression of a Christian” was cross-posted at popular gospel magazine “Jesus Calls”. • My 2006 blog post “Inter-racial relationships” was cross-posted at Bangalore Mizo Association annual magazine “Chhinlung”. • Apart from that, many of my blog posts have appeared in the column section of daily newspapers like Newslink.
  13. 13. One small blog post for man, one giant leap for the North Eastern kind Source: A few months ago, I was racially abused by a police officer in Mumbai. I wrote a blog post about it, inviting the police for a cup of tea where I could educate them about people from the North East. This post was picked up by a popular news site First Post, and I got immense support from everybody, such that the Jt. Commissioner of Police, Law & Order, Mr. Sadanand Date, personally contacted me and invited me for a cup of tea, where we discussed about the problems people from the North East face.
  14. 14. One small blog post for man, one giant leap for the North Eastern kind Source:
  15. 15. Source:
  16. 16. One small blog post for man, one giant leap for the North Eastern kind Source: And it didn’t stop just there! DCP of Malabar Hills personally came to our Mizo Church service to personally apologize and ensure that people from the North East are safe in Mumbai.
  17. 17. One small blog post for man, one giant leap for the North Eastern kind Source: Later, Mumbai’s Jt. Commissioner of Police, Law & Order, Mr. Sadanand Date personally invited us for tea at his office, where we discussed about steps that can be taken to make life easier for North Eastern people in Mumbai.
  18. 18. As one of our suggestions, just before 15th August, North East representatives of all 8 states were invited to take part in the flag hoisting ceremony held at various Police Stations in Mumbai! This was done in order to build a better understanding between the police and the NE community.
  19. 19. One small blog post for man, one giant leap for the North Eastern kind
  20. 20. One small blog post for man, one giant leap for the North Eastern kind Source: It was a great turn-out!
  21. 21. One small blog post for man, one giant leap for the North Eastern kind Source: diversities/articleshow/19533286.cms This incident had a lot of coverage across various national papers as well, inciting other police officers of other cities to invite members of the NE community for “a cup of tea”.
  22. 22. Source:
  23. 23. And all this started, because of just one simple blog post. THAT is the power of blogging.
  24. 24. Over to you… 