Chin (people)

Chin people

Chin is one of the ethnic groups in Myanmar. They are notable for being the only major ethnic group in Myanmar for being a Christian majority. The Chins are found mainly in western part of Myanmar (the Chin State) and numbered circa 1.5 million. They also live in nearby Indian states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur and Assam. Owing to Mizo influence and Baptist missionaries' intervention, 80%-90% of the population are Christians. However, a sizable minority of the Chin adhere to their traditional tribal beliefs, as well as to Theravada Buddhism. A small group of individuals from Mizoram claimed that they are one of the lost tribes of Israel, that of Bnei Menashetribe, some have since resettled in that country.

The Chin are one of the large ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. The Chin people are Of Tibeto-Burman groups and they probably came to Myanmar, especially the Chindwin valley in the late 9-10 century A.D. Most Chin people moved westward and they probably settled in the present Chin State around A.D 1300-1400 A.D. The original meaning of "Chin" remains obscure, and though scholars have proposed various theories no widely-held consensus has been reached.

There are many tribes among the Chin people such as Thai, Tedim (who prefer to call themselves Zomi as the word "Chin" is not in their own language; note the resemblance to Mizo of the neighbouring Mizoram state in India), Asho and Cho. Three major tribes of the Chin are Tedim, Falam and the Hakhas. It would be relevant to mention also that they are related to the Kukis of Nagaland, Manipur and Assam. For want of a more acceptable common name they are usually called the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people, bringing together the three most common names for them whether given by outsiders or themselves. There are also ten of thousands of Chin people in Mizoram State, India, mainly in Lai District, formerly part of Chhimtuipui District and a sizeable population also live in Churachandpur district of Manipur comprising of smaller tribes like the Hmars, Paite, Simte, Zou,Gangte and others. Bawn tribe in Southern Mizoram State and Bangladesh are descendants of the Lai tribe. This Chin/Mizo/Zomi/Kuki people are scattered into three countries- Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India.

Attempts to Unify

The realisation that these are of one and share common dilectical root and customs even though separated by international and state boundaries brought about movements for Unification of the occupied territories and of the people. One of the first movements being the MNF (Mizo National Movement) which ended with the formation of the Mizoram State in India. At present, there are a number of organisations like the ZRO (Zomi Re-Unification Organisation), Chin National Front, ZORO and other groups, who are fighting for the self-determination of Chinland (Zoland).

Religion

Traditionally, the Chin were animists. However, during the era of European imperialism, many converted to Christianity. Many Chins have also served as evangelists and pastors, spreading Christianity in places like the United States, Australia, Guam and India.

Also, there is a growing Buddhist community in the major cities.

Because of the current situation in Myanmar, thousands of Chins [Zo] are scattered in Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia.

Famous Chins

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