One can never figure out whether they are in India or in Myanmar when in Longwa village. According to the people here, the boundary line does not matter at all. Villagers can simply move around freely and Visa to Myanmar is not required. SCENIC BEAUTY literally gets redefined here and the border lines are seen on the way to Longwa village. It is situated 42 kilometres from the main Mon town in Nagaland.
For years, this Konyak village bordering Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh is the centre of attraction for many tourists. The international boundary line passes through the village . As a matter of fact it passes straight through the house of the Longwa village Angh (chief) dividing the village between two countries by land but not by heart.Longwa is a very quaint village and the people like every other Naga person is very hospitable.
Life at Longwa Village
Life is traditional here with a rustic and beautiful vibe. Children happily greet the visitors and hospitable seniors make visitors feel at home. However, what catches the eye of visitors is the international boundary line which runs between India and Myanmar passing through the village. It is a village with two schools and two councils, and the land has been bifurcated according to the “watershed”. The ‘watershed’ here signifies a place where a river flows towards Myanmar, therefore belonging to Myanmar. The place where the river flows towards the Indian terrain belongs to India.
Villagers can move around freely in Myanmar without Visa even the son of a village council member has entered the Myanmarese army. The Angh of Longwa are respected by people from both sides of the village. Villagers from the Myanmarese area help when there is work on the Angh’s field. But a portion of what the boundary line could do is visible.
Amenities like electricity and water which the villagers in India enjoy, cannot be enjoyed by those on the Myanmarese side even though they reside just a few meters away. This is because if the Myanmarese army come to know about it, there will be issues.
The Konyak Union is the apex body of the Konyak tribe which downplays the existence of the international boundary line. This line not only bifurcates the Longwa village but also the Konyak tribe. There are twenty seven Konyak villages in total on the Myanmar side. Boundary line does create some issues in terms of currency and others. The Naga villages on the Myanmar side have to rely on India for most of their basic needs – right from salt.
Till now, the emotional bond remains very strong and intact among the Konyak brethren living on both sides of the India-Myanmar boundary line that passes through the Longwa village. However, it is unknown what would happen in the future if a fence is erected by either of the countries along the border or if the Visa regulations are made more strict.
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