While travelling across the highways in Mizoram, especially the one from Aizawl to Seling, you will come across an unusually beautiful sight.
Lined on the either side of the highway are ‘nghahloh dawr’- the local parlance for shops without keepers, which are rare to find anywhere else in the world.
At ‘nghahloh dawr’, farmers put their produce – be it fruits, vegetables, bottles of fruit juice or even dried fish — at makeshift shops. The prices for vegetables are generally written on cardboards and a container or ‘pawisa bawm’ is placed where customers put the money. Buyers grab whatever they require and put the money into the ‘pawisa bawm’. If they require changes, the customers simply pick up the change from the same ‘pawisa bawm’.
These shops uphold the honesty that comes with Mizo culture. Mizos also highly appreciate altruism or ‘tlawmngaihna’. This kind of system is very beneficial for the farmers as they cannot spare time to tend their shops. Every morning they would leave their vegetables and fruits and leave for working in their farms.
“The system has never failed us. We have complete trust in our customers. So far, we have not lost anything from these shops,” proclaims a shopkeeper.