Tedim Township

Tedim or Tiddim Township is a township in Tedim District of the Chin State of Burma (Myanmar).
There are 55 village-tracts and 132 villages in 2011.


Tedim is a town in Chin State in the northwestern part of Myanmar. The name "Tedim" was derived from a pool on the top of the hills that used to be twinkling under sun's light, therefore, called "te (bright, shine)" and "dim (twinkling, sparkling)" in local Zo dialect.

As a result of lack of a formal writing system in the past, the story of Tedim mostly depends on oral traditions. The first establishment of Tedim is ascribed to Gui Mang II, a powerful prince from the then ruling Guite family in the region (c. 1600). However, due to the untimely death of Gui Lun (the fifth generation from Gui Mang II), Tedim was deserted for two generations. By the time of Pum Go, Tedim was reestablished as the political base of the Guite family. At the time of Mang Suum II, son of Pum Go, the allied force of the Pawihangs began their advance in the region and attacked Tedim. Tedim was again deserted by many, though some local residents survived under the leadership of Mang Gin from the Hatlang family. In 1840, in order to secure peace, the remaining citizens invited the leadership of Kam Hau of Mualbem, of the emerging Sukte family, since they had good military and political ties with the Zahau family of the Pawis. 

Early history

When British rule began in 1824, Tedim was chosen as the local residence for the district officer.

Geography

The geography is unique in its shape and slopes, and the climate is pleasant, since is lies on the Tropic of Cancer. There are three seasons: summer, winter, and autumn.
The ranges of Hills of Thangmual include Kennedy's Peak, Lunglenkawl, the Rih Bual, the Hausapi, the Gullu Mual, the Zangmualli, the Tuikangpi, the Suangsuang, and the Lentangmual. There are dams, caves, peaks, and other attractions, including Lennupa Mual, the Twin Fairy Hill, and historic sites.

Demography, etymology and language

The native settlers were warriors and mighty fighters from ancient times. Sing Kho Khai, a native writer, writes that the people living in the Tedim region were referred to as 'Paite' by the Lushai, Falam Pawi, and other neighboring tribes. He states that it is possible that the term Paite could have been used by the people themselves even before Ciimnuai was founded by their chiefs. Ciimnuai was a place founded by the Zo people long before the present Tedim township was established by Gui Mang II.
The name Tedim is the official name used for the town; but the written Tiddim,Thiddim, or Chindits (used during World War I and II) have also been used in the past. The local people prefer to call the town "Tedim" rather than "Tiddim" of the Burmese based pronunciation.
The Tedim language is the most common version spoken and understood by the nearby ethnicities including the Kuki (Thados), the Manipur (Meitei and Paite), the Lusei (Mizo), the Laimi (Khalkha or Hakha and Thangtlang), and the Falam (Pawite).
Tedimkam or Tedimpau is the major language of the whole Chin or Zomi, Kuki, Mizo, Manipur, Paite, and Pawite tribes of people. It is not a mere dialect such as the Siyin or Sihzang or Saizangpau, but it covers the following 12 dialects: (1) Sizang, (2) Khuano (2) Saizang, (4) Zo, (5) Teizang, (6) Phaileng, (7) Paihte, (8) Thahdo (In Myanmar), (9) Losau, (10) Vaiphei, (11) Dim and (12) the Simte. Therefore it is unique among other spoken languages in the Chin State.
It is estimated that around 550,000 people speak this dialect and arguably is next only to Lusei (Mizo) in terms of number of speakers among the Zo people, who use 50 different dialects. Lusei is now spoken by close to 600,000 people.
Tedim is the only language of the Zo languages that has the word literature in its vocabulary. It is the word "lai" which also means, apart from literature and paper, middle or center.
The Zomi includes these subgroups: Tedim, Pawite (Falam namte), Laizo (Laimite), NuaiZo, Zo Phei, Lusuang (Luseite), Paihte (Simte), Thahdo (Kuki), and Meitei (Manipurte).
The people who live in the Tedim area or Tedim Township call themselves Tedimmi. The residents of the town of Tedim are called Tedimte. The language spoken in the area is called Tedimpauor Tedimkam, the land and space area it covers is called Tedimgam or Tedim Uksung. The governor and or rulers are called Tedim Uk, or Ukpi, the styles and fashion they use and the way they live called Tedimdan,Tedimzia and Tedim zia leh tong.

Tedim, Tiddim, Ciimnuai

Languages spoken by the Tedim people are as follows:
Saizang aw-kaih
Tedim aw-kaih
Dim aw-kaih
Khuano aw-kaih
Losau aw-kaih
Paihte aw-kaih
Phaileng aw-kaih
Teizang aw-kaih
Vaiphei aw-kaih
Vangteh aw-kaih
Sihzang aw-kaih
Zo aw-kaih
The used of the common language is Tedim aw-kaih = Zopau

History and legend

Here is a commemorative song said to be composed by Pum Go concerning the growing prosperity in Tedim:
Dimtui vang khua, khua munnuam aw, sial leh sawm taang a tunna,
Sial leh sawm taang a tunna, siing tan’ lam bang eng nah e;
Taang silsial e, taang silsial e, Dimtui vangkhua taang silsial e,
Dimtui vang khua taang silsial e, kawi tawh laukha ka hualna (Pumgo: c. early 18th century).
(Translation)
Very comfortable place is my native Dimtui (a poetic attribution to Tedim), where all my dreams fulfilled,
Where all my dreams fulfilled, that everyone envies of my native;
It's shining, yes, shining, my native Dimtui is shining modestly,
My native Dimtui is shining modestly, where I made lasting vow to my beloved (dear wife).
The Tedimmi have been well known for their skills in black magic, ritual healing, white magic, witchcraft, occult, alchemy, and hunting, since ancient times. There is a legend and eye-witnesses that say a Wicca Pu-Ngul Tuan (the Father of Pu-Khampi) from Anlangh once stopped an avalanche on Mount Hiangtaam near his home village with his wiccan power.

Current leadership

Under the capable leadership of Kam Hau, Tedim became a safe place, assuming the position of commercial and political center of the region.

Notable people from Tedim Township

  • Pu Thuam Hang, the first Christian convert among people from Chin State, Burma
  • Dr. Vum Khaw Hau, the first person from Zomi to serve as Ambassador
  • Colonel Khen Za Mung
  • Major General Tuang Za Khai
  • Pu Lun Pum, Minister of Land Nationalization; the first among Zomi
  • Rev.Dr Kam Khaw Thang; translated the Tedim Bible from English version
  • Rev.Dr Simon Pau Khan En; the first person from the Zomi to hold the position of the General Secretary of Myanmar Baptist Convention & Principal of Myanmar Institute of Theology
  • Prof Thang Za Tuan; Deputy Director General, Ministry of Education, Union of Myanmar

Endnotes

  1. C. 1820, by C. Tuan.
  2. Sing K. Khai, Zo People and Their Culture (Lamka, Churachanpur, India: Kampu Hatzaw, 1995), 25-27 (Khai comments on the emergence of the Sukte family as a matter of fear of the Pawis of present Falam, that Khan Thuam and his son, Kam Hau, ruled as their vassal).
  3. Sukte Beh leh Tedim Gam Taangthu (Tedim, Myanmar: Laibu Bawl Committee, 1993). This is also a local publication of a collection of the oral accounts of the Sukte dynastic rule.

References

  • C. Thang Za Tuan, Prof., "Zomi Tanchin Tomkim," in Zolus Journal 4 (1999): 3-6. Dr. Tuan is a retired Deputy Director General of Basic Education Dept., the Ministry of Education, Myanmar. He dated 1570 to be the first founding of Tedim by Gui Mang.
  • Tedim Behs No 1 Golden Jubilee Magazine (Tedim, Chin State, Myanmar: Magazine Committee, 1998). This is a commemorative magazine of the Golden Jubilee of the school.
  • Gin K. Thang, com., Guite Khang Tangthu, (Kalemyo, Myanmar: 1986). This local publication was once reverted by the compiler in 1994, for the mis-inclusion of an illegitimate name called Gui Luah (Guiluah). However, apart from this single weakness, this local publication is still the best collection of existing oral accounts on the Guite dynastic rule.