Dr Dominic Mao feels proud of being a Manipuri

IMPHAL, 19th Jan: In-spite of his ancestors being of Chinese origin, Dr Dominic Mao of Harvard University, USA, who was born and brought up in the state, feels proud in identifying himself as a Manipuri.
In a chat with The People’s Chronicle on Saturday on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of a five-day ‘Programme for Scientifically Inspired Leadership’ organised at Don Bosco School, Chingmeirong with funding from Harvard University, Dr Dominic said that he was born and brought up in Imphal. He feels proud of being a Manipuri even if he works in USA now.
He is now working as assistant director of undergraduate studies and lecturer of MCB & CPB and molecular & cellular biology at United States’ Harvard University. His grandfather came to Manipur from China during pre-Indian independence period and his father was born in Imphal. His mother is also a Chinese born in Gujarat, he said. 
Growing up as a bright student, Dominic studied up to class 10 at Don Bosco School, Chingmeirong. He completed graduation from St Xavier College and completed Master in biochemistry from Gujarat University. He then completed PhD at USA’s University of Cincinnati and did his post-doctoral degree at Harvard University.
He left Manipur in 1996 but always has Manipur in his heart as his birthplace. Photos of climbing hills on Cheiraoba, Lai Haraoba and Thabal Chongba shared on social media by his friends in Imphal often reminded him of his old days in the state, Dr Dominic confided. Even if he has settled in US, indigenous food products of Manipur like Ngari, Hawaijar, U Morok and Yongchak (stink bean) remain among his favourite foods, he informed.
A man of simple and down to earth nature, Dr Dominic does not like people addressing him as a Doctor. He said that he has the impeccable flow and accent of a Manipuri in speaking the Manipuri language even if he might face some difficulties with some of the vocabularies as a reason of his long stay in US. He also confided that the feeling he had when landing at Imphal airport was never the same with no other places he visited in his career for different academic events like seminar, symposium, etc. He also regarded his visit to Manipur as a homecoming.
Sharing one of his most memorable activities in US, Dr Dominic Mao said that he felt excited when he once presented Lai Haraoba dance and Manipuri song ‘Nungsibi Ima, Nungsibi Ima Manipur’ which he used to perform while studying at Don Bosco School here.
The PSIL project, which Dr Dominic is overseeing as project director, imparts knowledge on leadership skills, personality development, solving issues and problems, way of teaching, education pattern of Harvard University among others. Two female and two male students of Harvard University imparted the knowledge during the five-day project, which was participated by 60 students from different schools.

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