Mizoram, a state forgotten by many Indians, is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also is the home to one of the most true and modest communities in India, the Mizos. Mizo people are known for their calm and honest approach to life, they even have a term for it, tlawmngaihna, meaning always being kind, unselfish and helpful to others.
Being true to their nature they have developed a new way of commerce that showcases their goodwill and trust-the nghah lou dawr. It is a never heard before system where farmers arrange fruits, vegetables, flowers, small dried fish and even freshwater snails in makeshift shops along the highway in Seling, about 65 kms away from Aizawl. They then hang the signboards displaying the name and price of the various items. They keep small payment boxes and then leave for their daily work on the fields. When they are at the farms, people who pass by can browse through the items, pick up whatever they like from their small collection and deposit the money in the box. If they don’t have change, they can even withdraw money from the box.
Even though they don’t earn much from this system, any money that trickles down these boxes is an added bonus for these poor families. Moreover, the thing that makes them happier is the fact that their customers have always been honest with them.
For the locals, the reason they buy these goods is because it comes with a trust value attached to them. For them, it’s like they’ve contributed to something bigger than just a few pennies down a box.
It indeed is amazing how in a world full of corruption and dishonesty this little state is setting a benchmark for people. The money these families receive from this trade may possibly give them one time’s meal and they will be eating this food solely because of the honesty of some faceless man that passed by that day. This tradition has prevailed since the tribal times and it simply shows that if you want honesty to flourish you will have to first reciprocate the trust.