A Matrilineal Poem for Khasi Patriarchs

The patriarchal politicians of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council are trying to amend the existing matrilineal law to take away the customary rights of Khasi women. The amendment proposes that if Khasi women marry non-Khasi men, they shall lose their Khasi status. 

Men have been in and out of my life
In and out of my life
A continual process of losing and unlosing my identity
Losing and unlosing
Oh the shame! Oh the horror! Oh the sheer betrayal of carrying a multi-cultural identity
To a noble MATRILINEAL tribe
I am an unclean woman, lost in her love for the outsider or anyone deserving of her MATRILINEAL love
This morning the outsider (who may be a shiteng jait or a half this half that, a riff-raff uncertain of ITS own identity) and I contemplated starting a new super tribe
Sorry but not everyone is allowed in
There are rules you know
Because you know what?
I really don’t give a MATRILINEAL fuck anymore!
My MATRILINEAL fuck is mine to give!


Lapdiang Artimai Syiem Mylliem is a Khasi theatre practitioner and poet.


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Lapdiang A. Syiem Written by:

Specialised in Acting from the National School of Drama, New Delhi and Physical Theatre from the Commedia School, Copenhagen, Denmark. Worked with body movement and expression over the years that my body has now become a storyteller, a buffoon, a clown and a traveller. Performed in Pakistan, China, Denmark, Sweden and Estonia. Even though she struggles to make ends meet, she'll probably never be able to settle for too long at one place. Loves bamboo shoot, smoked meat and Old Monk. Obviously from Shillong

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