I am an individual of mixed ancestry and I have often wondered where my ancestors came from. Who were they? Where did they come from? What of their culture?
Today I write songs in Haflong Hindi. Haflong Hindi I would like to define is a mixture of Hindi, English, Urdu, Sufi, Bengali, Assamese, Nepali, Manipuri, Punjabi, Bihari, and with few words from different tribes like Zeme, Dimasa, Hmar, Kuki, Biate, Hrangkol, Jaintia and maybe even more which I am not aware of.
Old Brahmadev probably has walked down most of the lanes of Shillong but not too many would know his name. He would only be recognized by the bell he rings and the green compartmentalized box he carries that we all so well recognize.
Drawing its name from the nearby police station, Police Bazaar was born in 1864, and is old as the ‘hill-station’ itself. It grew slowly with the arrival of Bengali and Marwari traders whose ‘general stores’ were initially patronized by British soldiers and officers. In 1874, Shillong became the capital of the new province of Assam. As the town grew into an important centre of colonial administration, the marketplace started to expand. Starting from the first decades of the 20th century, a string of different communities – Sindhis, Punjabis, Pathans, Chinese, and later, Tibetans – all arrived to start businesses in the area.
Irregular verbs, crazy spelling and the difficulty of being polite. English is tough.
Silvester Phanbuh on culinary and other Shillong diversities