is home to over 1.21 billion people, roughly 18% of entire human population. Indians speak Austroasiatic
, and Tibeto-Burman
languages (as well as two language isolates) and there are over 2,000 ethnic groups in the vast country. India's considerable diversity, however, tends to be simplified or overlooked in the west, where Hindi
cinema becomes metonymic for the entire Indian film
industry and North Indian
cooking (rather than being subdivided into Awadhi
, or Uttarpradeshi
) becomes shorthand for the cuisine of an entire subcontinent.
One of the less-widely recognized or discussed ethnic groups in India are the Tripuri
(also known as the Tipra
). They are believed to have migrated from somewhere in Western China
to the Brahmaputra Valley
at least 2,000 years ago -- which may sound like a long time ago but is relatively recent in a subcontinent believed to have been first settled by humans at least 70,000 years ago and another hominid species, Homo heidelbergensis
, perhaps as many as 800,000 years before them.