Ethnic People of Bangladesh
The word Ethnic comes from Ethnicity is derived from the Greek word ethnos which refers to "nation". Now a day the term refers to people who possess common ancestry and a distinctive culture. So, in short, ethnic people refer to the people of same nationality but of different cast, culture, tradition and religion.
There are about thirteen ethnic groups in our country and most of them live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The Chakma, the Marma, the Chak, the Mro, the Mrong, the Santal, and the Tripura are the well known ethnic groups in Bangladesh. They mainly live in the hill though many of them have recently settled in the plains. Beside CHT, there are some other ethnic people scattered in different region of Bangladesh such as Sylhet, Moulavi Bazar, Patuakhali and a few live in Jessore. The ethnic people of Bangladesh are mainly follower of Buddhism but there are some Christian, Hindus and even Muslims.
The ethnic people living in CHT mainly depend on agriculture. But their method of farming is different from plains. They do farming on hill slopes which as known as Jum cultivation, and once they were called Jumma because of their Jum cultivation. Other ethnic groups live on hunting, pet husbandry and collecting food and wood from forests. They are very hard working and they usually take two meals a day, one in morning and another in evening. Their living place and style are different from us.
The ethnic people have their own culture, tradition and language. But most of them have no written form of their language. In the near past and even today they are facing many problems living in hills because many Bangalee landless farmers have been settled there. The new settling started displacing the ethnic people from their land which led to insurgency among the ethnic people. The government signed a Peace Accord in 1997 with the Hill people promising resolution of their grief.
Many of the ethnic people of Bangladesh still lead primitive life but some of them acquired modernity. They are receiving higher education although scope is little because of their poor socio-economic condition.
Ethnic people are an important part of Bangladesh and its cultural diversity. They should not be neglected rather we should stretch our helping hand to them for their development. They may be different in culture and religion, but they the citizen of Bangladesh. So, we should treat them as friend, not as foe.