Stand-up comedian and YouTube sensation, Merenla Imsong from Nagaland debunks stereotypes about northeast through her humorous take on these issues.
Speaking to Northeast Now regarding the discrimination faced by the people of Northeast, Imsong said, “I think a lot of times it is ignorance that a lot of people are not aware about the Northeast region. It is very surprising as well because you would expect an educated person to know that Nagaland is a state and not a different country.”
The people from the Northeast have time and again been subjected to discrimination in different parts of the country.
Imsong recently performed at the Rongali Start Up and Entrepreneurship Conclave held in Guwahati. She highlights these concerns through her performances.
“People do not realize that they are being borderline racist. It is also the way one perceives it. A lot of people get angry and I also used to be like that. I also realize that it has a lot to do with education because when you look at NCERTs, there is not much that is mentioned about our region,” Imsong added.
Turning the tables, Imsong created a video, through her YouTube Channel, titled ‘Presumptuous chinky assumes the North Indian way’ which received 174K views.
On the scope of stand-up comedy in the Northeast, Imsong said, “We have such a strong identity and I think there are so many stories that can be woven about the Northeast. One thing that I have noticed about comedians from outside the region is that they are scared to make fun of us. It is because the Northeast is viewed as a sensitive area.”
“We should be open enough to be able to make fun of ourselves. For me, the starting point is making fun of my own state. Because it is close to my heart and I know that we have the potential to be way better than what we are,” Imsong noted.
On humour as a medium of expression, Imsong said, “For me, it is all about going through my experiences and then using humour to express it. Everyone has their own way of dealing with things. Some people write articles, some people write poems while some sing – for me it comes out as humour.”
“There is humour but also it is difficult to strike a balance so that one is not completely insulting someone and throwing a pity-party for Northeast. It is about saying that we exist and we are also right here,” Imsong added.
Merenla Imsong hails from Nagaland and currently works in Mumbai.
You can watch her videos here