Category: Indigenous People

The Power of Cultural Symbols – The Future of the CHTs’ Indigenous People

M Ahmedullah discusses the fate of the indigenous people native to the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Through an ethnographic observation of the cultural festivals symbolic to these ethnic minorities present in Bangladesh. The author emphasises the importance of these festivals in strengthening the cultural identity and capacity of these groups, as they face increasing marginalisation from the dominant Bengali ethnic group. Since the formation of the Bangladesh state in 1971, Bengali settlers have gradually asserted their cultural identity in the region, as a political tool to reinforce the dominant cultural narrative of Bengali people.