Christianization and its Impact on Mizo Culture
The Mizo consists of different sub-tribes. The various sub-tribes are differentiated by their own specific rituals, ceremonies and dialectical differences that exists between them. The differences among the Mizo sub-tribes are slowly and gradually vanishing after the acceptance of Christianity as their Religion in the early 20th century. The social life of the Mizo was controlled by their religious and cultural life in the past. Before the arrival of the British (and subsequently the Missionaries), the Mizo were having ‘nomadic habit and volatile mentality’. The way of life of the Mizo was immensely transformed by the Christian Missionaries. In 1894, two English Baptist missionaries of the Arthington Aborigines Mission, J.H. Lorrain and F.W. Savidge landed in Lushai Hills (the present Mizoram) and began their missionary works. The introduction of education and a new religion—Christianity changed their perspectives and the world view of the Mizo. In other words, a new culture, custom and tradition and identity of the Mizo developed. Though the Mizo still cherished their old cultures and traditions, much has undergone change beyond recognition. In recent times, there is a movement back to the roots. At the same time, they also agree that their culture has been blatantly influenced by Western culture in dress, food, mannerism, music and ideas. The main tradition festivals of the Mizo—Chapchar Kut, Mim Kut and Pawl Kut—of the old slowly and gradually faded away from the society after they adopted Christianity. Today, the main festival of the Mizo is Christmas even though effort has been put to revive Chapchar Kut again. In the above context, the paper analyses the influence of Christianity on the cultures, traditions and various areas of life of the Mizo by observation and analyses of materials available.