Deepika Kashyap (University of Tartu)

Internet Folklore and Online Mediated Identity: A Netnography Study in Nyishi Community, Arunachal Pradesh

Modern technologies and innovations have transformed the culture and tradition of the Nyishi community. It has created a new identity for Nyishi people through the internet. The penetration of the internet or the WWW (world wide web) allowed the folk to express and represent their “lore”- culture, custom and tradition to a wider mass. The Internet also opened up for a new mode of communication where people can create and circulate the messages easily. With the advancement of technology and internet, a lot of cultures, traditions, and folklore around the world have revived and are reaching out to the people by crossing the geographical barrier as well as the time limit. Nowadays people from many communities are coming online and creating a space of their own and expressing their identity, culture, and agency. Nyishi folklore is also taking pace with the help of internet technology. Internet folklore is becoming a major source of information and entertainment for the people. Through the internet and online communication tools (Facebook, YouTube, Google App- Nyishi World App) Nyishi people are taking the initiative to save and spread their culture and identity in the society. It has been evident that the folk from Nyishi community are actively participating in online mode, through their Facebook page they are affirming their culture and identity. They are updating the Nyishi folktale, legend, story, custom, and tradition on their Facebook page, and attracting people from both inside and outside world. The online selves of Nyishi people are related to offline contexts where the individual or a group of people perform in real life. The online Nyishi community is just an extension of offline context, i.e., Nyder Namlo which is working toward the protection of Nyishi language and propagating Nyishi identity and culture offline. The concept of identity and culture is now closely associated with the interface between technology and society. The computerized society has changed the meaning of knowledge and truth. It is having a radical effect on identity and culture. The gender paradigm is also changing due to the widespread use and accessibility of the internet. This research is going to critically engage with the reception of internet and folklore in the Nyishi  community, and the interface between the social paradigm and the internet. Through the text, context, and texture this research is going to validate the technique of internet in folklore. It is interesting to see the technique used by both online and offline community to create and circulate the culture and identity.

Keywords: Internet Folklore, Nyishi Community, Social Identity, Online Identity