The LUSHAI

Lushai is a small indigenous community of Bangladesh living in Chittagong Hill Tracts. The word 'Lushai' has come from the word 'lusei' means long head. The Lushai used to keep their long and put up their hair in a bun on their forehead as a result their head look long. It could also have originated from the custom of head hunting. Its also "Lu" means head and "Shai" means cut i.e. head cutting. They are the sub-clan of "Zo or Zomi ". However, the British later adopted Lushai as the official designation of all Zo people. They belong to the Tibeto-Burman group of the Chino-Tibetan community.

The term Lushai, native Lusei, is commonly used to refer to the Zomi of the Mizoram. It was Mr. Edger, the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar who first officially used the term Lushai instead of Zomi around the year 1897. However, the British later adopted Lushai as the official designation of all Zo people. Then in the year 1946 the tribes of the Lushai changed their nomenclature into Mizo in Lushai Hills.

Due to external dominance and influence, the Bengali called them Kuki, the Chakmas called them Hugi, the Burmese called them Chin and the Indians called them Mizo or Lushai. But they never called themselves by those names. Zomi is the most commonly known identity regardless. They have their own language, culture and identity.

Origin:

The different Zomi tribes hold the common belief that they originally emerged out of a Cave or Hole. This mythological cave is known by various names like Khuul, Khur, Khurpui, Khurtu-bijur, Sinlung, Chinlung, etc by various tribes like Thadou (Shaw 1929:24-26), Lushai ( Shakespeare: 1912), Lakher (Parry 1976:4), Tedim/Paite-Chin (Kamkhenthang 1967:1-2) and Moyon-Monsang, etc.

Migration

The Lushai may have come from 'Chinlung' and they introduced themselves Mongoloid. The prince of China left his father kingdom because of some disaggrement with his father and came to Oxatlung, a village of Myanmar and started to live there. Migrated into the CHT from the Tripura and Lushai Hills of India some 150 years ago. Before the British conquest of the Lushai Hills in 1892, the Lushais were extremely ferocious. They choose mountain tops as their abodes. Entrance to the village was heavily guarded.

The LUSHAI

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The Lushai migrated into CHT from Kingdom of Tripura and Chin State of Myanmar in the end of 18th century. In 1871 and 1890, the two British generals led an expedition against Lushais in India. This is known in history as the Lushai Expedition. The Lusai were originally inhabitant of the Kingdom of Tripura and also to the adjoining hilly areas. They have settled down on Jampui Hills under Kanchanpur Sub-Division in North Tripura

Population:

The Lushai who live in Mizoram State of India referred themselves as Mizo, although the two terms Lushai and Mizo simply mean "Zo People". Basically, Lushai people covered the whole Chin State of Burma. According to the Bangladesh census 1991, there are 662 Lushais in Bangladesh. They mainly live in the hill tract districts of Rangamati and Bandarbon.

Religion:

The Lushai are traditionally animism was considered to be the most widely practice religion until the Swedish-American Baptist missionaries preached Christianity in 1894, for the first time. Today, we can witness so many different Christian denominations across among them. Approximately there are about 5 to 10 percent of people who profess to be non-Christians currently, however the rest are Christians either by birth or conviction.

During the early 1900's as a general sense of prohibitionist arose, many Christians, particularly some Protestants Churches like the Presbyterian's, Baptist and Seventh day Adventist came to believe that the Bible prohibited alcohol or that the wisest for the Christian was to abstain from alcohol or prohibit it. The Bible warns that alcohol can hinder moral discretion. Proverbs 31 : 4-5 warns kings and rulers that they might forget what is decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

Christians should make a public statement against drunkenness because of the negative consequences it can have on individuals, families, and society as a whole. As as the Bible forbids partaking of alcohol altogether, they say medicinal use of wine in 1 Timothy 5:23, the Miracle of water turning into wine are all un-fermented grape juice. They also interpret the passages in the bible where beverages are viewed negatively to mean alcoholic drinks and where they are viewed positively they are to mean non alcoholic drinks.

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