Marriages of the Tribal People
The Chakma (Changma) is the largest tribal community in Bangladesh. They are approximately living 444,748 people in this country. The Chakmas also live in the Tripura, Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Burma (Myanmar). In Bangladesh, they are living mostly in the Chittagong Hilly Areas (Rangamati, Bandarban, and Khagrachhari) including Cox’s Bazar. The origin of Chakma is from the Mongoloid people who are the people of Southwestern Burma. They talk in their dialect (Arakanese – Indo-European tongue) as well as Bengali. Among the tribal life, they are very rich in their culture and tradition. The Chakma people are very innovative and adaptive than any other tribal people in Bangladesh. They follow the curriculum of Bangla and English in their educational institute. Though they can also talk in their dialect. It is thought that the young generations are not so interested in their own language. It is guessed that once the Chakma lived in Champoknagar and the community name came with this word. Though it is mostly accepted that they have come from Arakan in Burma in the fifteenth to the sixteenth century. The history says the Chakma get permission to stay in the hilly areas instead of paying tax for cotton. The Chakma Raja (the paramount chief) always maintain the rule of Govt. Thus they started to establish themselves with the culture of this region.
The people of Chakma belief the religion of Buddhist. The houses of Chakma are built traditionally with the bamboo. In recent times, they are also following the modern architecture. They live depending on agriculture. They grow different types of crops following the eco-friendly method known as “Jhum cultivation.” The women of this community wear homemade Pinon and Khadi. The men generally wear the Dhuti. In addition, they have their own script in their dialect language. Even the ancient religious books are written in this language in palm leaves.
Marma Tribe (Also known as Moghs or Maghs) is the second largest tribal group in Bangladesh. Approximately, they are 210,000 in number. They live in the Chittagong Hills region (Especially in Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati Hill Districts, Cox’s Bazar and Patuakhali) in Bangladesh. Still, some of them are living in Tripura, India, and Myanmar. The origin of Marmas is from Burmese (Myanmar) ancestry. So, they lead the cultural life as like the Burmese and their dress and script are also from pure Burmese. A group of marma Tribe named Jhumia Marmas is living in the southeastern part of Bengal a long time ago. On the other hand, another of Marma Tribe named Rakhaing Marma has come at the end of the 18th century from Arakan after conquering the kingdom by Burmese.
The influence with the Bengali culture in Marma Tribe is huge. Though they talk in the language of Arakanese dialect as well as Bengali. They follow the religion of animistic Buddhism. They are depending on plow agriculture. In general, the culture of Marma Tribe is unique. They have their own dress, food habits, songs, musical instruments as well as religious belief. They observe their own festivals. The biggest one is Sangrai. It is the festival of observing New Year according to the Buddhist lunar calendar. It is also known as the Water Festival. They splash one each other during the festivals. They believe the water will remove the sorrows and clear the mind and body.
The Tripuras mainly live in Khagrachari District of Chittagong Hilly areas. Besides, the small group of the Tripuras also live in Comilla, Noakhali, Chandpur as well as Moulavibazar. The total number of people in this community is nearly 1 lac in Bangladesh. They are now proud citizens of this country. On the other hand, Tripura is also live in India. The amount is nearly half a million in the state of Tripura. In general, when the India subcontinent was divided into Bangladesh and Pakistan, the small portion of Tripura was under Bangladesh (East Pakistan) in 1949.
Tripurabda is the calendar of Tripura community. It is older than the Bengali and Gregorian Calendar. According to the researchers, the Tripurabda is 590 years younger than Gregorian Calendar and 300 years older than Bangabda. The culture is very unique in the community. The Tripura from both India and Bangladesh follow almost the same culture. Happy to say, the literacy rate is very high than other indigenous people in Bangladesh. Even the graduate rate is also increasing. They are not very good in Bengali, so they face a problem when admitting the education institute. Though they are overcoming the situation day by day.