Meghalaya People & Communities

This is a known fact that the 'Home is where the Heart' will always be, and when many hearts come together, one can call a particular place home. With approximately 32,11,000 hearts beating in the state, the beautiful place has been a magnificent home and one of the best tourist places.

Meghalaya is known as the residence of tribal troops who cover the majority of its population. One must also understand that the people have lived in this region since the Neolithic Stage, which is the final division of the Stone Age era.
The ethnic group in the Northeast state of India comprises Khasi (34% approx.), Garo (30.5% approx.), Jaintia (18.5% approx.), Bengali (8.5% approx.), Nepali (2.5% approx.), Hajong (1.2% approx.), Biate (1.1% approx.), Koch (1.0% approx.), Tiwa (0.9% approx.), Rabha (0.8% approx.), Kuki (% approx.), Shaikh (0.3% approx.) and others (0.2% approx.). Thus, covering up the majority of the population of the state.

Amongst the entire group, the Khasis are the largest population community, followed by Garos and Jaintias. British often referred to these troops as 'Hill Tribes'. However, these tribes had their kingdom until the British administration took them over in the 19th Century. Unlike some places in India, this region had somehow enjoyed semi-independence because of the treaty with the British Crown.

Since Khasi is the largest tribe that Meghalaya has, it also has sub-tribes which consist of Pnar, War, Bhoi, and Lyngngam. Like the rest of the Communities of Meghalaya, Khasis also follows the matrilineal system of lineage. They occupy most of the northern lowlands and foothills, and some of them also live in the southern tracks of the state.

The Garo Tribe is second in line in terms of the majority in the state of Meghalaya. They rule one-third of the total state population, and they usually reside in the beautiful hills of Garo. The people of this group are the migrators of Tibet, thus known as Tibeto-Burman. They are also called Achik Mande (people of hills). Initially, they believed in their region of Songsarek, but with the arrival of American Baptist and Christian missionaries, they got converted into Christians, making English the most spoken language in not only their region but Meghalaya as a whole.

It is a well-known fact that Meghalaya is carved from the districts of Assam, which makes Jaintia one of the most powerful kingdoms of Assam. Just like Khasis, the Jaintia tribe also has a sub-tribe. These two groups share far more similarities than anyone can imagine. However, they have their unique customs and traditions. There are also very find of celebrating agriculture-based festivals. They offer their prayers to rivers, mountains, and nature surrounding them, which in itself is the creation of God. There is no better method to worship God than by nurturing and offering prayers to the creation that God gave to us in the form of the universe.

Since Meghalaya is one of the three states to have Christian, its official language is English. However, one also cannot miss that ‘Mon-Khmer’ is the language that Khasis only speak in India. The other languages include 'Pnar-Synteng', 'Nepali', 'Haijong', 'Bengali', 'Assamese', and 'Hindi'.

Meghalaya being an agricultural state, so people's entire livelihood depends on it. Another appealing fact about this state is that people have restricted the use of modern techniques in their lives, which is a rare scene. But this choice doesn’t make them people with orthodox beliefs. Unlike any other community, they are the most progressive one. It isn't easy to find a place or society where women are given the lineage and made the family heir. However, the people of Meghalaya have surpassed the common belief of putting men above women a long time back by handing over the family control to the woman by making them the head of the family.

This is something that all the communities in the world could learn and pass on to their future generation. Apart from matrilineal lineage, the communities and people of Meghalaya also enjoy music and festivals like the rest of the other communities. They are not far behind the party lovers that we acquaint with the city lover. They love rock music like any other, and they are also like to perform many types of dance forms that one can only imagine.

The diversified community was Meghalaya is one of the most welcoming people that one can find. With their vibrant and aesthetic nature, they have a rather magnificent aura around them, making you fall in love with their culture, traditions, customs, and beliefs.

Even after being one of the most beautiful places, many parts of Meghalaya still remain unexplored. Since it is in the remotest region of the country, many of the locals in the area still cannot speak the mother tongue of India, Hindi, followed by English, which is the most spoken language of the state. Instead, locals prefer to speak their native language, but they never let that become the barrier for them to move towards Globalization.

The people of Meghalaya have their self-governance. Unlike other villages, there is no concept of the Panchayat system in the state. They rather follow local governance, which is called Durbaars. To address any of the issues, Dorbars is called. Even though Meghalaya comprises a matrilineal society, the Dorbar consists of only men.

It is rather funny that the locals of Meghalaya tend to be lazy. But not being true to its meaning, they give these names to their children as a source of some inspiration taken from the Bible. 

People in the Meghalaya are one of the most closed communities that you will encounter, but at the same time, they welcome you to their home with open arms and let you get in touch with their essence, which spreads in the whole of Northeastern State.

Meghalaya is a paradise with golden-heart people.