Manipur is one of the most remarkable yet unknown civilizations in the world today. Long closed to foreigners, this ancient Himalayan state borders on Burma and the Golden Triangle. The size of New Jersey, Manipur is one of India’s most literate and culturally rich, yet poorest, states. Situated in the isolated Northeastern region, Manipuris are ethnically Tibeto-Burman and number about two million in population.
Renowned for its performers and athletes, Manipur is the birthplace of polo, and its warrior culture has produced five forms of martial arts. Manipuris excel in modern sports and athletics. A number of India’s top Olympians, the stars of almost every major Indian soccer team, the five-time World Boxing champion (Mary Kom), and India’s top swimmer (who trained without a swimming pool) are among the outstanding athletes who hail from this small mountain state.
Manipur has a tradition of high cultural achievement as well. Its modern theater is presented at venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music’s NextWave Festival, and its small film industry, now completely digitized, produces films that have been featured at Cannes and MoMA. It has a rich literary tradition and dance forms that are presented internationally.
And then, of course, there is baseball.