By S. Ravi
New Delhi, Sep 21: It may read straight from the pages of Ripley's Believe it Or not but it is true -- a remote village in north-eastern part of Nagaland falls both in India and Myanmar. Welcome to Longwa village whose residents enjoy not one but dual citizenships of India and Myanmar.
Located in Mon district of the state, the house of Angh, as the hereditary chief of this largest village in district is known as, is worth visiting as the international border of the two countries runs through his kitchen. You eat in one country and sleep in another!
What is interesting is that unlike other borders where there is strict control on movement, residents of this village are allowed to roam freely in both the countries.
There are two rivers flowing in the Indian side, Tegi and Tapi, while two are in Myanmar, Tejak and Shumnyu.
The Angh village is one of the seven in the district and controls many other villages, some of which obviously are in India and others in the neighbouring country. What makes this place really unique is the fact that the residents across the border share customs and traditions and have strong cultural ties.
In all there are 500 families and 7,000 residents in this village.
Last of the head hunters
People in the region belong to the Konyak Naga tribe, who are heavily tattooed and look majestic sporting head gears and traditional war dresses. They are known for excellent wood carving, blacksmith and handicraft.
Significantly they enjoy the singular distinction of being India's last of the head hunters.
This practice was common and important for the tribe and when battles were fought with rival groups and tribes, the winner would return with the heads of the enemies as a symbol of prosperity, strength and power.
This custom came to an end in the 1960s. People still have brass skull necklaces at home that symbolise that they had taken these heads during the battle.
The village boasts of several scenic spots to visit. These include the Doyang river, Nagaland Science Centre, Hong Kong Market, Shilloi lake, the pillar indicating the international border and many more tourist attractions.
Longwa lies 42 kilometre from Mon town and can be reached by air, bus or train. Assam's Jorhat is the nearest airport from where one heads to Sonari/Simulguri, and takes a bus to Mon district.
By train one has to reach Bhoju railway station and head to Sonari to take a bus.
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