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Various small tribes of different names have agreed to be registered in Burma’s upcoming nationwide census as one entity only; the Kuki people.
At a press conference on Monday, Ngai Ngai, a member of the Kuki Nationalities Affairs Committee, announced the agreement that was made at the Kuki National conference held in December last year.
The tribes are currently listed as different ethnic groups, but they all identify themselves as Kuki.
“We have reached an agreement; to be listed under one ethnic title – the Kuki – at the 2014 census. Various Kuki tribe leaders swore an oath upon the agreement at our traditional Jukhon Saba Dop ritual, in which they held a cup of liquor and an animal liver and vowed to register as the Kuki People.”
The Kuki people are not listed among Burma’s 135 officially recognised ethnicities. Instead they have been mistakenly considered members of various other ethnicities.
The Kukis number around 200,000, with the majority living in northern Sagaing division or Chin state.
Their next step is to propose to the Burma Immigration Ministry for official recognition as the Kuki.
The 2014 nationwide census is set to take place from the 30th of March to the 14th of April this year.
And the Kukis hope that by then, they will be recognised as one people.