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Marma leaders call for safeguarding their culture

Published On: 2007-10-21
Jasim Majumder, Khagrachhari

Marma leaders in Khagrachhari, speaking at the Bangladesh Marma Aikka Parishad hall, said that the traditional games, sports and cultural events of the Marma community have gradually reduced due to lack of proper initiatives.

The leaders of Bangladesh Marma Aikka Parishad (BMAP) claimed that they were facing discrimination at every stage — both by outsiders and their neighbouring communities.

They cited the example of the recruitment for “Tribal Cultural Institute”, situated in Khabangpuriya, Khagrachhari. There is no Marma teacher at the institution, they claimed, though there are Chakma, Tripura and Bengali teachers.

Mrasathowai Marma, advisor, BMAP, said that the Marmas in Khagrachhari seek assistance from both the government and NGOs, to uphold their culture and heritage.

Speakers also said that the Marma children today are forgoing the ways of their forefathers.

Babusshi Chowdhury, secretary of BMAP said that the young Marmas were only aping the culture and ideology of the west in a rampant manner.

Chailapru Marma, 75, concluded the discussion by pointing out that without direct endeavours from the government the future of their ethnic culture was bleak.

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