Pastor Vareishum Kamkara was born on December 28, 1928, in Nungbi Khullen Village, Ukhrul, Manipur, India. His parents were animists, as were most Tangkhul Nagas at that time.
When Vareishum was 14, his mother passed away. His father struggled to take care of their children. Six months after the death of his mother, Vareishum’s father died from malaria and he and his siblings became orphans.
Since Susan and I got married last April (2016), every morning when we leave for work, my wife hugs me and kisses me and reminds me that she loves me; she does this again when we get home. In contrast, when I was growing up, my parents would say goodbye to me by saying, “Ok, Chihan, go fast and come back soon.” I didn’t think much about this until my mom kissed me on the cheek for the first time on my wedding day in front of several hundred people.
That was the first time I remember my mom kissing me on the cheek. It was uncomfortable for both of us because it’s something we’ve never practiced in my family and in our culture. My mom must have kissed my six siblings and me thousands of times when we were babies but I don’t remember her doing this at all as we grew older. I find myself wondering why it took so long.