By Missus Northeast India
When we were growing up, we were called ‘Chinku’, ‘Chinki’, ‘Nepali’, ‘Japani’, and ‘Momo’. Of course, let’s not forget the quintessential, ‘Are you from Thailand?’ comment.
For you, it was funny, and we were supposed to take in good nature, because we are a minority. So we did. Somehow, when you talk about the northeast, it is funny that the word ‘India’ is often kept out of it.
But the fact remains that we northeasteners belong as much to India, as you do.
We choose to leave the protection of our home, so we can live among you in the big cities of this country, in order to educate ourselves, to learn, and to get jobs that are on par with you.
We want to mingle, we want to share our wonderful heritage, we want to understand you as you would (hopefully) like to understand us, but all we get is a second look, a snigger, and doubt.
We are not given good homes as rent, we are subject to name-calling everywhere we go — what else can we do but stick together with our own? If you don’t consider us your own, it makes things very difficult for us to convince you.
As much as you are scared, worried for your loved ones back home, disillusioned about the future, so are we. Why are we having to bear the brunt of a pandemic that’s been caused by some other country!?
Why are we being called ‘Corona’, why are we being spat on, heckled, even beaten up? It is because of the way we look?