Monday, December 17, 2007

Dec 16: Climb to Shillong(part 2)

As always, got talking with folks over tea. The local language is
called "Khasi". Garo also has a language of it's own. Some amount of
assamese seems to work here too. None of the Meghalaya languages have
a script and surprisingly they(atleast the Khasi people) use English
as the script. This results in a lot of tongue twisting words which
(I am sure) Englishmen would dread to pronounce! Even more, I am sure
that this usage of English could actually result in some sort of
unintended misunderstanding.

Khasi people have their own tribal dress, but it's mostly seen in the
museums now-a-days I guess. Or during festivities. Definitely not on
the highways! Men are mostly found wearing shirts and pants. Women
seem to wear anything from sarees draped manipur-style(I believe this
is traditional) to frocks, obviously getting more adventurous in the
capital city of Shillong.

Shillong (or indeed Meghalaya itself) seems to be quite content and
sleepy. Today is a Sunday, and most shops are closed. The ones that
are open decide it's enough at 8.

One Sardarji I met on the road was telling me that Meghalaya is
reportedly the most corrupt of all North-Eastern States. He cited
instances of the road till Shillong being widened 8 times in the past
10 years, all without moving an inch!

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