Lessons from Morung

Dr. Asangba Tzüdir


We have come a long way from our traditional culture and have reached a stage where our culture is almost reduced to symbolic representation of the material. The technological impact on our lives is tremendous and it has further dissociated us away from our traditional modes of lifestyle and living. More so, the tension in the modes of thinking in trying to attune with the changing times, and in the pursuit of our ‘identity’, has taken us further away. This shift has rather misplaced us in the form of a crisis – a moral crisis of identity. Within this crisis, there is a further disintegration from the ‘community’ to the ‘individual.’ A resultant effect is being witnessed today in the form of ‘violence’ and where the good of the community and society finds lost to individual ‘good’ and ‘well-being.’


This has happened largely because we have failed to think together, neither do we imagine and envisage rationally for the good of our society that we long, yet, without working on the change agents. A restart is required and we need to trace back to the roots of our traditional identity because we have ignored and left behind a very integral aspect of our culture that informs about community living and its associated values. There are so many lessons that need to be drawn from our traditional institution called Morung. Call it the ‘University of Happiness’ towards the attainment of what can be surmised as the ‘highest good’ of the community. More than an institution of learning, Morung was a very important place for the people to come together as a community. Morung brought people together and taught the values of ‘shared living,’ the goodness of sharing responsibilities and the importance of the communitarian good over the individual. It taught the community to come together as a unit and strive towards peace and prosperity of community life and living.


The New year has begun with issues more pronounced, of power struggle over clashes of ‘misinterpreted values.’ …And before we lose all sense of belonging as a ‘Naganess’ and as a community, we need to go back to the heart of our traditional Morung system in coming together to recreate the communitarian values through a well-informed imagination in providing structure, sense and direction. Perhaps, these will inject a moral sense of duty and responsibility in our life and living. Our society will then see transformation.


(Dr. Asangba Tzüdir is Editor of heritage publishing house.
He writes a weekly guest editorial for the Morung Express.
Views and comments can be mailed to asangtz@gmail.com)