Cultural assimilation and survival strategy of ethnic people in Bangladesh: Bangali dress on ethnic physique in Chittagong Hill Tracts

Muhammad Ala Uddin


Ethnic communities in Bangladesh have been displacing from their traditional way of life since the British colonial period. Authoritarian policies of the State of Pakistan and Bangladesh victimized the indigenous minorities; therefore their existence is disappearing. As a result, ethnic people become passive and helpless in their own-nurtured land. They are increasingly outnumbering by the mainstream Bangali population in formerly ethnic inhabited zone Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) due to population movement policy of the state. Given the situation, the ethnic people have adapted few strategies for their survival in the disservice socio-economic structure. Bangali costume instead of tradition costume is one of the strategies adopted by the ethnic minority in CHT. The paper will focuses on how dress can be a visible signifier that symbolizes the cultural assimilation, and how dress can be a weapon of strategy for survival of minority against the majority.
Key words: Pahari; Bangali; Ethnicity; Military Forces; Peace Accord
Résumé: Depuis l’époque de la colonisation britanique, les communautés éthniques au Bangladesh se sont éloignées de leur mode de vie traditionnel. Les politiques autoritaires du Pakistan et du Bangladesh répriment les minorités indigènes et leur présence disparaît peu à peu. Le résultat est que ces peuples deviennent passifs et faibles dans leur propre région. Dans la région montagneuse de Chittagong, à côté du courant principal du Bengali, qui était une zone peuplée autrefois, leur nombre est en croissanc soutenue à cause de la politique de déplacement démographique de l’Etat. La situation exige et les peuples ont donc adopté plusieurs stratégies de survie dans cette structure socio-économique défavorable. Le constume bengal à la place de traditionnel est l’une des stratégies adoptées par les éthnies minoritaires dans cette région. L’article va centrer sur comment le costume peut être une signe visible qui symbolise l’assimilation culturelle et comment il peut devenir un outil de stratégie de survie pour les monirités face à la majorité.
Mots-Clés: Pahari; Bengali; Ethnicité; forces militaries; l’Accord de paix

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