13 June, 2021

Gospel Truths

Gospel Truths
My visit to Mizoram fell between two big events in Aizawl's social calendar—a week-long Bible Expo, and a concert by the British glam rock band Smokie. I've managed to live with the disappointment of missing both. Compulsory chapel at my grammar school has given me a life-long aversion to organised religion...and to old guys who dress up to gain attention. Smokie's website asserts that 40,000 fans went to the concert at Aizawl's Assam Rifles Ground, made more 'awesome' by the band's decision to wear traditional Mizo 'tartan'. There's no photo, alas, but perhaps it's an image best confined to imagination.

These events represent the twin peaks of contemporary Mizo culture, the all-pervasive influence of the Christian gospel and an unquenchable enthusiasm for the more dated aspects of western rock. Missionaries only reached Mizoram a little over a century ago, but it must now count as one of the most pastorised corners of the globe. The Protestant imprint can be found in a social life that...

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