A promotional campaign by Spice mobile marketing team has landed the company in trouble with the Tiwa community of Assam. The campaign had youngsters dressed in the company’s polo shirts and pants dancing to a popular traditional Tiwa song.
A video of one such performance in Morigaon district of Assam made its way to the social media and caught the attention of the Tiwa community who found the dance moves and campaign inappropriate. The community has taken offence to the Spice Mobile campaign team for performing inappropriate modern dance moves to a traditional Tiwa song.
Morigaon Superintendent of Police, talking over phone, confirmed that the FIRs have been filed and that the police was investigating the case. “We have summoned the Spice mobile company officials.”
Tiwa community leader of Morigaon district, Kandarpa Sukai, speaking over the phone said the Tiwa people have taken offence at the Spice company abusing their culture. “Distorting our culture is a challenge to our very existence as an indigenous community. The company (Spice) had dancers in modern dress performing Bollywood moves to our traditional song. That can’t be allowed”, he categorically stated.
FIRs have been filed at the Morigaon police station by All Tiwa Students Union (ATSU), Tiwa Jatiya Aikya Mancha (TJAM), Koch Rajbonshi Students’ Union.
Tiwa is an indigenous community inhabiting the states of Assam and Meghalaya and also found in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. They are recognized as a Scheduled tribe within the State of Assam.
Assam has a number of racial and ethnic groups with their own specific and traditional cultures and each tribe displays a very high degree of ethnic diversity. Tradition makes for a sensitive issue as these tribes struggle to sustain their indigenous tribal identity in this melting pot of ethnic communities. And many a times the pot has come to a boil over a perceived offence to some tribal tradition by an outsider or another community.
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