Mizo hockey star Lalremsiami comes home to a royal palanquin welcomehttps://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/mizoram/hockey-star-lalremsiami-lands-at-home-welcomed-by-thousand-people-and-a-palanquin-5416894/

Mizo hockey star Lalremsiami comes home to a royal palanquin welcome

A singing crowd crammed the Kolasib’s Diakkawn square, through which Lalremsiami passed, sitting in a open palanquin made of bamboo sticks — the highest honour in Mizo traditional practice.

Mizoram hockey player Lalremsiami
18-year-old Lalremsiami, the youngest player in Indian women’s hockey team, returned to Mizoram for the first time since her victories at the Asian Games and Youth Olympics. Photo Courtesy: Stephen Auhmun.

Drums beat and chants of ‘Remsiami’ echoed across a small Mizo town today, as Indian hockey player Lalremsiami returned home to Kolasib, 85 km north of state capital Aizawl. The 18-year-old is the youngest player in Indian women’s hockey team, which recently bagged silver medals at both the Asian Games 2018 and Youth Olympic Games.

This afternoon, a singing crowd crammed the town’s Diakkawn square, through which Lalremsiami passed, sitting in a open palanquin made of bamboo sticks — the highest honour in Mizo traditional practice. 

Mizoram hockey player Lalremsiami
The mood was celebratory, and a grinning Lalremsiami greeted fans and signed autographs. Photo Courtesy: Stephen Auhmun

“Back in 2014, we gave a grand welcome to Mizo Idol (a singing competition in the state) winner Grace Lalchhanhimi, and now four years later, we have gathered here again today. She is the daughter of Kolasib,” said Lalnunmawia Sailo, present at the gathering.

Mizoram hockey player Lalremsiami
Lalremsiami was welcomed by a open palanquin made of bamboo sticks —the highest honour in Mizo traditional practice. Photo Courtesy: Stephen Auhmun

The mood was celebratory, and a grinning Lalremsiami greeted fans and signed autographs. “Everyone has left their political differences and for once, the conversation is not about politics but Remsiami,” said another fan present. Mizoram is set to go to polls on November 28.

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Mizoram hockey player Lalremsiami
The mood was celebratory, and a teary-eyed Lalremsiami greeted fans and signed autographs. Photo Courtesy: Carter Ngente

Lalremsiami’s father Lalthansanga Zote said, “This is beyond my expectations. Look at this, thousands of people unite only because of my daughter, I never knew my hometown is this united.”

Mizoram hockey player Lalremsiami, Mizo weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga
Mizoram State Sports Council, yesterday felicitated Lalremsiami along with Jeremy Lalrinnunga, a weightlifter who won India’s first Youth Olympics gold in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo Courtesy: PC Lala

“All I could say is thank you to all of them. Me in an open palanquin, paraded the town of Kolasib — this is beyond a dream. If this is the kind of love I get from them, I’ll give my life to achieve more,” Lalremsiami told indianexpress.com.

Yesterday Mizoram State Sports Council felicitated Lalremsiami along with Jeremy Lalrinnunga, the 15-year-old weightlifter who won India’s first Youth Olympics gold in Buenos Aires, Argentina.