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.
“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.
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.
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.”
“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.