A Historical and Logical Approach to Our True National Identity ~ Dr. Dongno
“The tribes never called themselves by such names as Kuki or Chin or Lushai which are ‘not national’, The people do not accept the name given by the Burmese and ourselves; they do not call themselves Chins, and they equally flout the name of Kuki which their Assamese neighbours used. They call themselves Zhou (ZO)”……. Sir J George Scott.
“In our younger days we were told that we were born at ZOTLANG. And ZO is our true original name. The word LAI is not our national name. Laimi was first used by denizens of Haka. LAI means our village people, our own local people, as distinct from outsiders ’. …………… Rev Sang Ling
“I agreed, I believe ZO is our national name and I myself am the pastor of ZOkhua” . …………… Rev Sang Fen
It is a general consensus that we have not had a true national name though we are officially called Chins. As all that is official does not always reflect the truth, our identity, Chin, is an ‘official’ misnomer. We never called ourselves Chin which delivers no meaning to us. It has no national or political element. Our forefathers did not accept it. They objected it. CHIN does not stand the test of historical and political scrutiny.
We seem not to have been nationally and politically happy with our official identity. Consequently, concerns about having our true ethnic national name have been raised and have been a subject of dispute for decades without an agreeable solution in sight.
Proposal for adopting one is only confronted by opposition from those who favour the other and vice versa. This sentiment has created a rift and the gap seems to be only widening and an impasse is reached, being unable to achieve a true National Name amicably agreed .
Now, looking at the situation closely, one of the principal causes that clearly stands in our way — the general ignorance of what LAIMI and ZOMI are all about – had not been given enough attention. Save for only an erudite few, the public has been kept in the dark about the background histories. They need to cogitate on the pros and cons to make an informed logical pick. It is therefore crucial that the public is well informed and helped to see the issue against a backdrop of sound historical knowledge and fair consideration. That is the main purpose of this article.
Although I can be more comfortable with a true and original identity, I am by no means trying to make my ‘sales pitch’ here nor am I attempting to foist my ideas on any one. But I strongly suggest that people focus on the simple truth of the historical originality, nationality and logic in making the decision based on recorded history or oral traditions from reliable sources keeping a sense of perspective without bias or prejudice. Consideration will be LAIMI or ZOMI.
DIGGING DEEPER TO THE ROOT:
LAIMI: Largely legendary, LAIMI means central people. Four origins of LAIMI can be obtained of which two are originated in Haka, and the other two in Falam. They are often confusedly regarded as having the same origin, but in fact they do not. They are of separate historical, rather mythical, entities.
i. The Haka LAIMI : (a) Denizens of Haka : Rev Sang Ling of Haka said: “LAI was first used by denizens of Hakha. It means our village people, our own local people, as distinct from outsiders.” Rev Sang Fen seconded saying “ I agree “. Logically, he should have been aware then that he himself was excluded from being a LAIMI as he was from Zokhua.
Rev Sang Ling and Rev Sang Fen were the most senior and most revered pastors and customarily they were the authority in Haka area in those days. They knew exactly what LAIMI meant. They agreed that LAIMI was not inclusive of all of us and on that ground they declared “ LAI IS NOT OUR NATIONAL NAME” (Saikah Conference March 5-7, 1953)
(b) From centre of the earth : Pu Lian Uk wrote, ” …..Laimi, (central people) from the centre of the earth, is certainly true”” Referring to science he said that the earth was round and any place was ‘central’. It sounded intriguing at first but on second thoughts the imagination that our forefathers had such an advanced scientific belief was grossly unpalatable considering the philosophical assumption of the sphericity of the earth was practically demonstrated by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan S Elcano’s expedition’s circumnavigation in 1519-1522. But even then, millions were still in disbelief.
Wouldn’t it sound a bit anachronistic as telling of Pu Kio Mang, Pu Thang Tin Lian and Pu Kam Hau watching TV? But again, if he sticks to science, how ‘certainly’ could he believe it ‘true’ that people coming from the centre of the earth at a temperature of 6000 degrees Celsius possible? It only proves conjuncture at its best.
Also, his claim that Lailo, Lailui, Laitui and Thuklai as indicating ‘centre (lai) of the earth’ was just another futile attempt. We have three types of climate-based regions such as zolei, simlam and gamlai depending upon whether the climate is cool at high altitude, sweltering hot in the low-lying areas, and mild in the intermediate region, respectively. Lailo, Lailui. Laitui are situated in the intermediate region – ‘gamlai’, thus bearing “lai”. Thuklai, on the other hand, literally means “centre of the fire place”. None of these come anywhere near to connote ‘“centre of the universe” as claimed by him.
ii. The Falam LAIMI: (a) Issued from LAILUN cave: A legend traditionally held by elders of Falam area was that a cave called LAILUN near Falam, was believed to have been the origin of the tribal people around the region, hence the birth of LAIMI (Central People).
In 1983, according to the late Pu No Zam, one time MP for Falam area, “ LAIMI, in the contextual sense of the word, originating from LAILUN cave, was ‘local’, referring only to those inhibiting the locality around the cave”. Falam LAIMI, too, is not inclusive of us all in the same way as Haka LAIMI is not.
The two senior pastors from Haka in 1953 and a wise man, 30 years later from Falam consistently and unequivocally confirmed the parochial nature of what LAIMI stands for. Taking what they said at face value it is safe to draw the conclusion that the word LAIMI did not and does not represent all of us. It is only partial and not national.
(b) Issued from a mountain or a huge rock/ : According to Dr E H East, “ in Rua Van village, I saw a big mountain from which they tell me issued the first man and woman……to me the story is very interesting, though faulty, of the first human couple…”Lai Mi” (central people) they claim that around them centres the early history of mankind; I was led by the Chief and Village elders to a huge rock.. They showed the very spot in this large rock from which the first man and the first woman in the world issued”. (Burma Manuscripts, p 168-169)
Lian Uk’s version of Laimi as “coming from the centre of the universe’” contradicts Dr East’s record on what he was told by the Chief and elders of Rua Van village in early 1909. Dr East wrote “Laimi, they claim, that around them centres the early history of mankind” – clearly not “from the centre of the universe” which is a serious misinterpretation of the word, centre, here. The former might have embellished overly out of proportion the latter’s account as the two statements are poles apart.
iii. Non-LAIMI : In 1967, according to Pu Pak Ling, headman of Suntla, an interesting historical record on the origin of the major tribes of Falam and the Haka people surfaced. He presented it to the Science Students Excursion Team in Falam : “Following the death of the Sawbwa at Kalemyo, a dispute arose among his five sons, resulting in a family feud – the three older brothers against the two younger brothers.
The younger brothers gained the upper hand sending the three big brothers to flee to the hills. The oldest son was Tun Khaing (Thua Kai) whose descendants today are residents of Zammual, Congheeng, Suntla and Tlaisun villages. The middle, Phulone ( Phurlum) whose descendents are the Zanniat tribe and the youngest of the three, Hlun Soing ( Hlawm Ceu) who begot the Mangkheng, Zahau and Haka tribes.
Again, this statement establishes that the above tribes, which constitute the majority of Falam’s population and the Haka-s are not LAIMI because their forefathers were not “issued from LAILUN cave”. They are descendents of the three brothers seeking refuge from Kalaymyo.
This conclusion corresponds with Rev Sang Ling, Rev Sang Fen and Pu No Zam’s testimonies that LAIMI is only referring to a few local people and not all of us.
Reiterating the inferences :
(a) Rev Sang Ling and Rev Sang Fen declared. “Laimi was first used by denizens of Haka. LAI means our village people, our own local people, as distinct from outsiders”. Therefore, LAIMI of Haka, does not include us all collectively. Logically then , Haka LAIMI did not and does not represent Thantlang, Zotung, Zophei, Senthang, Maru, let alone Tedim, Falam, Matupi, Mindat, Kanpelet, Paletwa, and Ashu Chins
(b) On that ground, they ( SL & SF) declared ”LAI is not our national name’” They were the authority in those days. So we can hang on their every word.
(c) Likewise, LAIMI of Falam refers only to the tribes in the vicinity of LAILUN cave, excluding the majority of the populace in Falam area, needless to say the rest of us.
(d) The above ( iii. “Non LAIMI” ) further confirms that, the majority of populace in Falam area, such as Zanniat, Suntla, Tlaisun, Congheng Zahau, Zammual, and the Mangkheng tribes and the Hakas are NOT LAIMI as their forefathers did not originate from LAILUN cave but from Kalemyo.
(e) Now, all in all LAIMI of Haka and that of Falam do not represent all of us but only a few local tribes. This had been testified by Rev Sang Ling, Rev Sang Fen, Pu No Zam and Pu Pak Ling. LAIMI therefore does not identify us all as a people.
(f) Lailun, the cave from which a tribe called LAIMI was believed to come out, was found only around 1600 AD, after our forefathers had fled to escape hostile Sawbwa, Kyitaungnyo in Kalemyo. It was, therefore, too recent in chronological order in our history lacking primordial originality to qualify for our national name.
(g) LAIMI does not stand on a single solid foundation but loosely on different footings, each contradicting one another like, “ first used by Haka denizens alone” – SL & SF, then, “from the centre of the round earth” – LK, “out of cave“ – elders of Falam, and “out of rock , mountain“ – Headman and villagers of Rua Van– Dr East. The credibility of the etymology of LAIMI itself, is questionable to the core.
(h) Last but not least, given LAIMI, based on mythology without factual foundation, is preposterously unreal, superannuated and unacceptable in the real world. It holds no historical, scientific or logical values. Dr East himself described it, “ faulty” and admitted “ I have some difficulty in accepting their story as accurate” (Burma Manucript p.169.)
As believers, to chose LAIMI (based on the principle that we were originated from LAILUN cave, centre of the universe, out of a big mountain or a huge rock ) for our National Name means denying that we are the fruits of Adam and Eve created by God in the Garden of Eden. Wouldn’t it be then an act tantamount to blaspheme?
Actually, the people of Tedim also have a similar legend. A cave called, KHUUL near Tedim from which the original people were believed issued. However, being only a legend, they do not consider it worth-mentioned to be their origin. They persistently preserve ZOMI, a symbolic continuity of their identity passed down through the generations by their ancestors over the past 12 centuries to this very day.
Thus, LAIMI, too, does not stand the test of historical, logical, scientific and also biblical scrutiny.
ZOMI : The word ZO can be interchangeable with JO, YO, DZO, ZHOU, ASHU, SHO, CHO, KHUMI, YAW, etc. as they appeared in many books in our national archive. Despite being subjected to linguistic variations down through the centuries resulting in slightly different writing styles used by different authors, historians have agreed that they all meant ZO/ZOMI.
Even today the Khuano group in Tedim area pronounce YOMI for ZOMI. Our cousins in Manipur State spell Zhou for ZO. You walk down the street and ask people to spell ZO, you end up seeing all these words transliterated. The style of writing varies with individuals, so Chin was spelled “Kyen” or ’Chien’ etc. The phonetic similarity with its application is what it counts.
Pu Lian Uk recently wrote “ there had never been the name ZOMI in the past till it has been newly created since 1953”. Nothing could be further from the truth. And the lack of historical knowledge couldn’t be more obvious. No wonder the public is kept in the dark if he is still groping himself about in it with his pen too.
Please first listen to what Rev Sang Ling of Haka and Rev Sang Fen of Zokhua, had to say to us about ZO, ZOMI.
“In our younger days we were told that we were born at Zotlang and ZO is our true original name” said Rev Sang Ling at Saikah. Then he asked Rev Sang Fen, what his opinion was.
“I agreed”, replied Rev Sang Fen, adding “I believe ZO is our national name and I myself am the pastor of Zokhua” They both declared “ZO IS OUR TRUE ORIGINAL NAME”. Saikah, 1953.
If Zomi was created in 1953, then it must have been Rev Sang Ling of Haka, Rev Sang Fen of Zokhua and the 3,000 strong Christian congregation (among which less than 10 were from Tedim) who unanimously voted and formed Zomi Baptist Convention (ZBC). Saikah village, Thantlang 5-7 March, 1953.
But It is now clear that there had been ZOMI before 1953, at least 50 years earlier, since the younger days of the two pastors. Interestingly enough, what Rev S Ling mentioned about ZOtlang as the birth place of our people definitely takes us back closer to the core of our origin.
In this regard, Pu Khup Za Go, India, wrote: “Zotlang is the Haka legendary that corresponds to the Tibetan origin of Zothang (Shothang) in the Amdo region which Dr Stein places to the east of Central Asian Highland corresponds to the region where the Zomis are said to have originated”.. “Shothang/ (Zothang) was brought down through centuries and subjected to cultural and linguistic variation” (Zo Chronicles, Khup Za Go p.192) – to Zotlang in the younger days of the pastors. Let’s dig deeper.
Sir J. George Scott reported to the Government of India that the Zomi (Yo/Jo) never called themselves by such names as Chin which they objected..(Burma: A Handbook of Practical Information 1911 p 104 and Burma and Beyond 1932 p 187),
G A Grierson conceded thus “The name Chin is not used by the tribes themselves who use titles such as Yo,Jo / Zo. “ (Linguistic Survey of India 1894-1928)
Rev Howard Melcom wrote “The Yo (ZO) is on the lower water of the Kyendwin (Chindwin) not far from Ava, the district is sometimes called YO (ZO)”,
Sir Henry Yule ( 1508) : the Yo (Zo) country and the location of which was west of the mouth of Chindwin, the interior of Doab, between the Irrawaddy and Chindwin…”,
Baiyue: The Zhou (ZO) came from Northern Tibeto –Burman stock, Dr CJ Cope wrote books in Tedim dialect that carried ZOMI.
U Thein Pe Myint, a famous historian, wrote: “ Even though the people who are called Chins do not necessarily protest, their true name, in fact, is Zomi”. (Withita Taing Tamaing Asa. 1967 p 172)
U Ba Than: “Outsiders called them Chin, in fact they are ZOMI” (School Text book of Burmese History)
Daw Khin Myo Chit, Burmese scholar: “Yaw, Lusei, Thahdo, Naga, Kuki Chins-are in fact, ‘Zomi’,
Rev Sang Ling together with Rev Sang Fen: “In our younger days we were told that we were born at ZOTLANG. ZO is our true original name”.
Daw Aung San Su Kyi: “ Zomis are the ones who stood by me faithfully”. Dandenong Basketball Stadium, Melbourne 1 Dec,. 2013, too numerous to mention.
ZO/ZOMI with capital Z is the proper name our forefathers identified themselves since time immemorial.
And ZOMI, unlike Lian Uk assumed as “People of the cooler region”, actually does not refer to the cooler climate or place (Zolei) in the higher elevation. We can see our forefathers were calling themselves ZOMI when they founded the ZO dynasty ie. ‘the Zomi Kingdom, Zomi Nation, Zomi District and Zomi Country, at the blistering-hot ‘simgam’ (not zolei), central region of Burma, called “The Dry Belt”.
If ZO was named in reference to climatic condition as alleged by him, our ancestors should rather have more appropriately called themselves ‘SIMMI’ – ‘People of the hot region’ then, but that was not the case. They called themselves and were internationally recognised as ZOMI (Yo,Jo) at all time regardless of the climatic conditions they lived in.
It would be worthwhile seeing our origin and the heyday of our forefathers in the early centuries and how ZOMI is singly standing out as our National Name worthy to be proud of.
“Our Origin: Although the origin of our history has been lost in the mists of time, it is believed to be rooted in Tibet. It is interesting to note that even to this day we still share many basic words in our languages with Sing mi (Shing mi), one of the earliest peoples of Tibet, like ‘ Pa thian ’ for God, ‘Khamtung‘ for hilly region, ‘Topa‘ for lord, ‘mi’ for people, ‘ tung ’ for on, ‘ sing ‘ for wood or jungle, to mention but a few. (Warren W Smith: The story of Tibetan Nationalism and Sino-Relation – courtesy, Pu Kham Go Pau USA)
We also share a number of traditional customs, beliefs and superstitions. These are concrete ancestral ties between us attesting to our origin way back in Tibet. ZOTHANG (Shothang) in the Amdo region, also corresponds to the region where the Zomis are said to have originated.
Further, “ those who used ‘mi’ or ‘mui’ for people or man/men are regarded as originating from Tibet”. ( Linguistic Survey of India ).
Early settlements in Burma : Records show that by 6 AD the first wave of Yo/Jo/Zo migration had arrived at the Chindwin valley and by 100 AD, and on for centuries, they settled around Pagan long before Anawrathasaw became crowned king in 1044
Pagan, the most popular tourist attraction site in Myanmar today, is the country’s most ancient city. U Ba Than, a renowned historian, noted that the name of the kingdom capital, ‘Pagan’ was the corrupted Burmese word for “ Pu’ gam “, meaning land of our grandfather. (Kyaung thung Myanmar Yazawon – School Text- book of Burmese History).
Dr Neihsial Tual Cin Ph D, India, in his book, mentioned that the ancient Burmese city, Pagan( Pu-gam) was the name given by our forefathers. (Guite Kual a Lutna 1985)
So too, other historians claim that, Popa was the corrupted Burmese word for “ Pu pa “, a honorific title, “ Master or Grand-father”, given to the gigantic volcanic ‘plug’ sticking up to 737 meters above sea level for its awesome magnificence.
Not surprisingly our forefathers, ‘pu-pate’, at the time would have believed it to be the abode of a supreme spirit and so would have offered that great honour to propitiate him. Since none of these names translates into Burmese language, the veracity of the claims cannot be repudiated unless proved otherwise.
The Hill and Plain Chins : From there after many centuries they eventually moved to the north to settle in the hills to become the Hill Chins. Some, however, moved further down south and settled around what is now Minbu, Thayet, Aunglan, Natmauk, Paukkhaung, Sithohtara-Ngape, Pyi (Prome), etc., to be called Asho, the Plain Chins.
OUR FOREFATHERS ONCE RULED OVER CENTRAL BURMA ZO Dynasty : Earlier than 700 – 1550 AD The Zo Kingdom, Zo Country, Zo Nation and Zo District
Proudly, at the peak of success our forefathers had, for over eight centuries, established,
1. Zo Kingdom : Fan Cho, 862 AD, a Chinese diplomat of Tang Dynasty recorded : “ A petty kingdom in Chindwin Valley whose princes and chiefs were called Jo (Zo). This is the earliest record so far available on the kingdom the Jo (Zo) people established in the Chindwin valley. Further research will unearth more detailed information on the kingdom.
2. Julia Lowell …. “with Ruby mine on the Southeast and China on the East”. The extent of the Zo kingdom, was a sizable land comprising one of the richest natural resources on earth.
This account is strongly supported by the Legend of Dahpa (Dahpa Tangthu). Dahpa unknowingly brought home brick-sized stones for the fire place. His bride, recognising they were precious stones, said to him “These are the kind of stones that make my parents rich”. Indeed Dahpa and his wife became wealthy too. They threw a party for the whole village called ‘Ton’, lasting seven days.
Dahpa never had to work hard and therefore he was assumed to be skiving off and was mistakenly called ‘lazybones’. Yet he had everything he wanted –by ‘beating his magic drum’, the legend goes. It is a popular practice among wealthy Zomi animists to celebrate ‘Ton’, a weeklong feast, as an ostentatious display of their status to guarantee merits for life after death.
3. Zo Country: Sir Henry Yule, 1508, mentioned, “ the Yo (Zo) country and the location of which was west of the mouth of Chindwin, the interior of Doab, between the Irrawaddy and Chindwin…” There are remains of Yo/Zo settlements at different places in Pinle Bu Subdivision still standing to this day as proof to this account. A megalith, 13 feet tall, used as an altar for sacrificial offerings, is still standing two miles from Sibani village near Monywa. The local people call it ‘Chin god’ (Falam Centenary Magazine page 232). Also a neighbourhood in Sagaing is called ‘Chin Suh Ywa’ meaning ‘Chin Village’ (Zomite’ Takkhahna’ by J H Tun Thawng).
4. Zo Nation : , Rev. Fr Vincentius Sangermano, 1783, an Italian clergyman, wrote even more explicitly thus, “To the east of Chien (Chin) mountains, between 20°30′ and 21°30′ north latitude, is a petty nation called Jo, Shu (Zo)” (Description of THE BURMESE EMPIRE, page 35).
5. and Zo District: Rev. Howard Malcolm wrote: “The Jo/Zo is on the lower water of the Kyendwin (Chindwin) not far from Ava; the district is sometimes called Yo or Jo (Zo).”
These are concrete historical evidences that our forefathers, the Jo/Yo/ or Zo people, once had ‘dominion’ over the Chindwin area in central Burma for centuries.
Two Jo/Yo/Zo kingdoms (6 AD – 1550 AD): It had been well-founded that two ZO kingdoms had been established in the heart of Burma.
The Lower Jo-Yo/Zo Kingdom (6–1550 AD) which extended northeast including Pagan and the ruby mines as far to the east as the Chinese border.(The Great Wall – Julia Lowell p 6) This kingdom was far more extensive than today’s Chin State. It came to an end when it was conquered by the second joint invasion of Hanthawady Pegu, Ayudiya and Taungoo after the death of King Bayintnaung in 1550 (Thai history and documentary movie, ‘THE KINGDOM OF WAR”).
The Upper Yaw/Zo Kingdom of the Kale Kabaw Valley (800-1400 AD) where they came around 800 AD and set up the capital at Khampat, which literally means ’the beginning of the uphill’ They settled there as late as 1400 AD before finally giving way for the westward advance of the Shans thence on to the hills, their permanent home.
Around Bunglung, Yesayo remains of altars for ceremonial worship rites, artefacts and settlement can still be seen to this day. Intolerant to occasional raids from the Manipuris, they jumped out of the frying-pan into the fire. Fleeing south to Kalemyo they ended up in forced labour to built a fortress around a 234 acres of land on which the residential palace of the hostile Shan Chief, Kyitaungnyo, was built. Then they fled to the hills.
Up to that time, through ZO Kingdom, ZO Nation or ZO Country and perhaps hundreds of years earlier, there were no Tedim, Falam, LAIMI, Haka, Matupi, Mindat, Kanpetlet, Paletwa, ASHU etc. They were all but ZO/ZOMI. This testifies our inextricable oneness as a people – ZOMI.
After being conquered by the Ayudiya, Pegu and Taungoo, ZOMIs were dispersed elsewhere. Those fleeing to the hills were separated by mountains and valleys, and they began to adopt various different names. Thanks to the people of Tedim for their steadfast loyalty in their symbolic continuity in maintaining ‘ZOMI’ as our National Name. If it wasn’t for them our true identity would have been lost altogether beyond all hope of retrieval.
Though seemingly not knowing it is our national name, there are widespread occurrences of ZO/ZOMI relentlessly preserved, such as LaiZO in Falam area and ZOkhua, ZOtung, ZOphei in Haka area. Too, CHO(ZO) as they call themselves in Mindat and Kanpelet, KHUMI (ZOMI) in Paletwa and ASHO(ZO) in Burma proper and ZAW (ZO) in Gangaw area prove that ZOMI is still pretty much well preserved to this day as our family heirloom. Standing the test of centuries, subjected to cultural and linguistic alteration and lost in the memory of many, our family heirloom nevertheless is an enduring testament to the verdict : WE ARE ALL ZOMI.
JEALOUS FOR OUR IDENTITY – ZOMI
ZO/ZOMI was internationally recognized as early as 862 AD when penned by Chinese scholar and diplomat, Fan Cho. In fact, it must have been perhaps hundreds of years even earlier that ZOMI had been established. A host of international scholars rallied behind him documenting the dynasty of ZOMI at its zenith – the aforementioned Kingdom, Country, Nation and District in central Burma in the early centuries. ZO/ZOMI is therefore, pivotal and central to our true national identity. Knowing who and what our ancestors were, how dear and great it is to discover that we have every reason to be proud of being ZOMI today.
It is a fait accompli that our forefathers collectively were Jo/Yo,’ZOMI’ more than 1200 years ago today and 1034 years before the word, ‘Chin’, was falsely imposed upon us on August 13,1896 to be our national identity. What reason do we have to pride ourselves on being identified as Chin without a scintilla of status attached to it – meaningless, empty and devoid of any references in terms of who we are? Are we much too complacent about going on with an identity that may possibly carry a social stigma attached to it in the sight of our neighbours?
So how much longer could we naively be obsequious to accept and flaunt a false name, Chin, but ignorantly deny the indisputable national name, ZOMI?
Therefore, if we are really serious enough and jealous for our true generic identity in light of the mounting historical evidences, political awareness and a sense of logic, I envisage the day we agree to shed off the ‘wrongly imposed’ name – ‘Chin’, and don the rightful apparel of our historical and ‘primordial’ identity- ‘ZOMI’, will see the light of day not too far off. Only appalling ignorance and crude insensitivity could stymie the realisation and readiness to the acceptance of ZOMI as our national identity. Isn’t it time now to awaken to reality?
ZOMI IS NOT A MYTH NOR A LEGEND, NEITHER IS IT ALIEN IN ORIGIN AND NATURE. ZOMI DOES NOT REFER TO THOSE OF A PARTICULAR LOCALITY ONLY BUT INCLUDES US ALL TOGETHER. OUR FOREFATHERS HAD ONCE REIGNED OVER THE HEART OF BURMA FOR CENTURIES CALLING THEMSELVES ZOMI. AND WE ALL RETAIN ZOMI EVEN TODAY AS OUR FAMILY HEIRLOOM DOWN THROUGH THE AGES. THERE IS NO OTHER NAME UNDER THE SUN WE CAN BE PROUD OF, BUT ZOMI, OUR ORIGINAL HISTORICAL AND NATIONAL NAME. Dr James Suan Za Dong, MB,BS; DO Sydney Australia