S02E02 FindingTheVoices: How do your react when someone calls you a Chinky or use any derogatory terms ?
Guest Speakers: Bobo Hijam, Lukhoi Sougaijam, Linthoi Angom
Interview Location : Washington DC, USA.
With many cases of racism and incidents in India where the North East people of India are teased, questioned, called Chinky and other derogatory terms I had posted “Yes we hear the word “Chinky” very often. Lot of people including myself try and take it sportingly to survive and blend in, not to cause any trouble (for we have seen time and again that we will loose fighting back and be alienated and chose to focus to study/work, the reason why we came out from Manipur) but you should know that deep inside we don’t like it”
And one of the response was “I use “Chinky” for people from North East India like using Gujju for Gujarati, Bong for Bengali, Mallu for Malayali, I didn’t think it was offensive. If it is I will stop”
This response (ignorance that it’s a derogatory term) inspired me to do this episode to share our experience, thoughts, ways of coping up and mechanism we had opted to survive such situations, situations we wish we didn’t have to face but we are facing.
There are many young students coming out to escape the conflict, including myself, to pursue uninterrupted education at a very young age. And then dealing with new place and people, new food, pain of missing home. We have met very good, kind hearted people who have helped and touched our heart and we remain indebted forever.
But we are also faced with indifference and questions on our identity making us to cope up to blend in, to survive in many ways even in the way one dresses, avoiding places and events, curbing one’s freedom to avoid situations, keeping quiet gulping humiliations to survive. Many of us cope up this way for we know that when we fight back it’s only us who will loose and end in tragic incidents which never gets justice. But should we keep quiet ? No we shouldn’t. And we will not. We have learnt to pick our battle and find ways and mechanism to protest, educate, spread awareness and let people know. Also we should ask our self if we are calling names to others, start from home, our origin and fight for the cause, stand for the cause irrespective of your community and contribute at the individual level and this will truly bring a change.
Thanks to our Guest Speakers for sharing their heart felt experience and thoughts. Please share your experience and thoughts too.