In the recent past, a lot has been said about racism. This issue has impacted the lives of people all over the world be it America or South Africa or India itself. And over the years, racism has become a part and parcel of the lives of people who have been subjected to this adversity. On International Racism Day, people living in the tricity talk about their share of experiences.
Having lived in the city from past four years, a college student Jessica Yumnam from Manipur feels that people carry certain prejudices about them. "Even looking for paying guest accommodation is difficult for us as people do not feel comfortable with us, they simply refuse," she said.
"Most of us are non-vegetarians, people assume we would be eating snakes and reptiles. I have come to terms with such things but I feel they should change," she added.
However, everyone isn't so flexible, as is the case with Suchitra Khunukcham also from Manipur who is currently pursuing her masters from Panjab University, "It's offensive and it develops a kind of insecurity amongst the community as no one likes to be called by certain names that are attached to them on the basis of their looks, caste or anything else. Though, I feel Chandigarh is nice and the discrimination is least as compared to other cities."
Ishawor Chandra from Imphal, pursuing masters in geography is also happy that this practice is less prevalent here than compared to other cities but says that educated people aren't aware of the North East region and ask them unnecessary questions.
Explaining more about the entire issue, Richen, a BPO employee from Nagaland feels that the problem is that there is a huge cultural difference; everything is different from language to food. "Most of us are not even familiar with Hindi. But that is no excuse for such acts, though here in the tricity, it's a bit moderate as in other cities."
While the people from the seven sisters have their own share of experiences, locals feel that people should be more welcoming of those from the North-East. Sanjay Sharma, a sales executive says, "I just feel sorry for them. It's wrong but I believe people do it for the sake of fun only."