The first American Bishnupriya Manipuri Dude of the Week.
BM Org: Hi Sumil! Have you seen Slumdog Millionaire? What did not you like about the film?
Sumil: I still have not! I must see this as soon as I have a little time (and money...). It's been playing in theaters for a while now, and I hope to catch it.
BM Org: Well you must watch it! Now let’s move on from Danny Boyle to Sumil Sinha. Tell us more about you. How did America happen to your family?
Sumil: I am currently a 3rd year student in Syracuse University, pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, planning to use this degree in Marketing. I was born on April 6th, 1988. My parents are both Bishnupriya Manipuris, however we have a Meitei connection on my father's side. My mother works as a Lab Assistant and a Hair Stylist. My father is trying to open a family business. Currently, I live with them during vacation, along with my mother's younger brother who has just immigrated from Patharkandi and my mother's father. As far as grandparents are concerned, both grandparents from my father's side are deceased, while I live with my grandfather of my mother's side, and my grandmother is due for immigration.
BM Org: That’s great. You seem to have the entire family in the States now. Can you speak Bishnupriya Manipuri?
Sumil: The sad truth of the matter is that I am not completely proficient in Bishnupriya Manipuri. I can understand and get by with simple conversation, but I am a little miffed at my folks for only using Imar Thar at home. Currently, I am trying to relearn Imar Thar and wish to converse not only fluently, but also use traditional Bishnupriya.
BM Org: Tell us what do you know about Bishnupriya Manipuris?
Sumil: We are a race on the verge of cultural extinction. I am very familiar with the two dialect groups (gaangs) and I often interchange them when conversing. I am still new to the concept of Lokei. I believe that it would be a good idea to have that information on the website. I also need to know more about our cuisines. Being a 1st generation American makes it harder than you can believe to stay true to being Manipuri!
BM org: Pretty impressive Sumil. Is there any way you think as a youngster you can contribute to the community?
Sumil: As of right now, I am involved in the Asian Students of America Organization here in Syracuse University, where I voice the recognition the proud Kangleichas (whether Bishnupriya or Meitei). I do not want our culture to die with my generation, so I try and preserve the language, as well as the foods and cultures. I always find a way to mention my heritage when meeting new people, and you can believe that there is no prouder Bishnupriya Manipuri on campus (even IF I'm the only Bishnupriya Manipuri on campus...)
BM Org: Now our BMQ round. Hope you know it. What Lokei are you?
Sumil: Sure I know. If this works on the father's side, then I'm Mangkeigo Lokei, Angom Yek. My mother's Lokei is Raja.
BM Org: Name a Bishnupriya Manipuri dish apart from Irolpa
Sumil: Does Paltoi count? I need to learn more dishes!
BM Org: Name the first Bishnupriya Manipuri Minister?
Sumil: Bimal Sinha, Health Minister of Tripura, although I'll admit that I know little about him.
BM Org: Who was the first Dude of the Week?
Sumil: This is easy! Vishal Sinha! I hope to make an impact like that!
BM Org: Is inter-caste marriage fine to you? If yes why? If no why?
Sumil: Now, this is a very traditional question going to a very postmodernist thinker and new generation American, so, of course it's fine for me. In fact, I am probably going to go farther and say that I plan to interracially marry. While this may make some a little uneasy (my parents have given up hope, I think...), I am a strong advocate of love marriage. I feel that it's the very essence of being human, and to "learn to love" system is outdated. Of course, I have not really been exposed to any Bishnupriya Manipuri girls in United States, so I can't say I have any sort of preference. Is that good or bad? Some see it as a curse, I see it as good fortune. I suppose I'm on a mission to spread the seeds of the Bishnupriya race. Rest assured, I will not make the same mistake of my parents and that I will be sure to speak Imar Thar and preserve our language.
Thank you for considering me to be your dude of the week.
BM Org: By the Sumil, you are the first American Bishnupriya Manipuri Dude of the Week. Was great meeting you. Good and harou clicking !
Sumil: Oh that’s interesting! Thanks a ton once again.
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