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SHILLONG, OCT 13, 2009: Senior anthropologist and former HSA general president Pu RTh Varte is all set to present a seminar paper titled "An Anthropological Study of Lesser- Known Shans: A Case Study of the Mizo- Chin- Kuki groups of India", at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University during a four-day 'Seminar on Shan Culture' to be held from October 14 to 18.

The seminar is organised by the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University.

Pu Varte, who is representing North East India Center for Indigenous Development Studies (Neicicds), told Inpui that his paper will cover a generalised view of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people scattered across India's north eastern states of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

"The aim, objective and concept is to highlight and comparatively study the Shan people of India with other Shan in an attempt to bring light to some questions on origin and identity of the Mizo-Chin-Kuki groups that have been eluding scholars for many decades through this opportunity offered," Pu Varte said.

It may be mentioned that there are "over 60 tribes of the Mizo-Chin-Kuki groups recognized by the Government of India as Scheduled Tribes and having an approximate population of over 7-8 million are presently living".

"These groups trace their origin to Shan - a claim which has also been proven by authors and researchers," Pu Varte said, adding, "Linguistically, their classification as according to anthropologists fall under the Tibeto-Burman group of languages eventhough there are still many other similarities and proximity in culture and tradition with those of the original Shan."

The word “Shan” said to be of Burmese origin, in English means “Highlanders” which according to the Chinese became “Shand-tse” and “Shan-yen” with the same English translation.

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