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Mizoram Church wants Mizo custom abolished

Posted on Dec 08, 11:55AM | UNI

Synod, the highest body of the Mizoram Presbyterian Church, has passed an agenda for abolition of Hlamzuih death from the Mizo Christian customary law.

In the pre-Christian Mizo society, if a baby died before attaining one year of age, it was regarded as Hlamzuih and did not deserve full funeral rituals. The dead body would not be buried in a village cemetery but within the premises of the deceased's house.

The custom still exists in the post-Christian Mizo society with a little modification. Today, Hlamzuih happens when a baby dies before completing 90 days. However, the dead body is to be buried in a local cemetery without community funeral.

As per Mizo Customary Law and funeral guidelines laid out by the Young Mizo Association, the state's largest community-based organisation, the death of an infant before attainting three months or 90 days should be treated as Hlamzuih.

The YMA, in its general conference in 1982, passed a resolution to this effect which remained unchanged when the general conference in 2006 reviewed the guidelines.

The Synod's resolution came after an increasing campaign for total abolition of the custom since the last few years.

The Synod assembly at Chanmari Presbyterian Church here today, decided to put up the resolution to the Synod executive committee. More than 50 percent of the state's population is members of the Presbyterian Church.

However, leaders of the central committee of YMA said today the organisation still stood by its guidelines.

" The YMA's rules and regulations on Mizo funeral rituals remain unchanged. If any amendment is to made, it will not be until the next general conference, " one of the central YMA leaders was quoted as saying.

The YMA conducts funeral in every Mizo village and town.

As the Synod's resolution involves modification of Mizo customary laws, major NGOs in Mizoram will have to be consulted, sources said today.