At this point, we are only waiting for our "Restricted Access Zone" permits. The permits, issued by the Indian government, will allow us to enter Nagaland for ten days. (The flip side of this, of course, is that without these permits, we will not be able to enter the region at all.) Fingers crossed, the permits will be ready early this week.
The explanation for the permits is as follows:
"Government-issued permits for restricted areas are in place for security reasons and to protect, from outside influence, the culture of native people living there. However, as it is easy to get an Inner Line Permit for Indian citizens, many Indians from other regions are moving to protected/restricted areas. It is unsure whether temporary visiting tourists would have more of a cultural impact to the native people than many Indians with significantly different cultural backgrounds from other areas of the country."
Perhaps the physical presence of people is not the only concern. This week, I read several on-line articles about the controversy surrounding Korean influence on Naga youth. This article, "Wave of Korean Culture Hits Nagaland" by Renchano Humtsoe (10/26/10), seemed to strike the first match:
Also, this week, Brian and I started to tape our first interviews for Government Warning, a short film that we are hoping to make about this whole experience. Thank you to Jen B., Allen T., my mom (Marilyn) and my dad (Roy) for volunteering to go first. I am continuously reminded of how great it is to work with such incredible colleagues and how lucky I am to have have been raised by parents who value of new experiences.