28 May 2007

Knowing ourselves better

EVER SINCE I joined Google Adsense and placed some ads in this weblog, I never fail to notice why of all things, an Indian dating site keeps on appearing quite persistently, to the point it has become annoying.

Nonetheless, since the images are being fed directly by Adsense, and there is nothing I can do about it aside from taking them down, I have learned to live with them. But the why part remains a mystery.

Until I added the new widget Google Newsreel about 10 days ago, plugging in "Naga" and "Bicol" as filters for news search, renaming it "Newswires," and placing it at the lower part of my right sidebar.

For most of last week, only one of the four Naga-related news articles actually concerned my city; the rest concerns a bigger Naga, comprising of close to 2 million inhabitants of a northeastern Indian state known as Nagaland, which sits at the subcontinent's border with Myanmar. Today, all four stories concerned goings on in that state, including their own version of American Idol!

After clicking on the links, and researching some more on the topic, the following information are striking:

  • Nagaland is 90% christian, one of the only three with predominantly christian population and the only one where they account for more than 90% of the total population. Of the total, 75% are Baptists, much more than the US state of Mississippi where only 52% of the people belong to that faith.
  • Their major city, Dimapur, has a population of around 110,000 in 2001. Its name is loosely translated as "the city near the great river."
  • The Nagas are currently engaged in an effort towards self-determination, a struggle that dates back to 1946, a year ahead of the more well-known Kashmiri problem that continues to roil Indian and Pakistani relations; and
  • The Naga people of Nagaland are said to have believed themselves to be descendants of the mythological "Nāgas", but to have lost this belief due to Christian missionary activity.
If you come to think of it, our beginnings, as reflected in the ancient name of our city, probably derive from our links with these river-dwelling peoples -- as the late Ateneo de Naga president Raul Bonoan pointed out -- than the narra tree, which is what conventional wisdom led us to believe.


jessie said...

That's also why I used 'naga city' instead of just 'naga' for Planet Naga aggregation ;)

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

I'm also thinking about it.:)

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Master Jessie: The compromise I reached with myself just a few seconds ago is to add an entirely new filter" "naga city" for truly naga, cam sur news.