Thursday, January 10, 2013
The Chakma's are a people with their own culture, folklore, literature and traditions. The Chakma women wear an ankle length cloth around the waist which is also called Phinon and also a Haadi wrapped above the waist as well as silver ornaments. The Phinon and the Haadi are colourfully hand weaved with various designs. The design is first embroidered on a piece of cloth known as Alaam.
The most important festivals celebrated by the Chakmas are Bizu and Buddha Purnima.
Bizu is the most important socio-religious festival of the Chakma.This festival gave birth to the Bizu dance.The festival lasts for three days and begins on the last day of the month of Chaitra.The first day is known as Phool Bizu. On this day, household items, clothes are cleaned and washed, food items are collected to give the house a new look with the veil of different flowers. The second day known as Mul Bizu day starts with the bath in the river. People wear new clothes and make rounds of the village. They also enjoy specially made vegetable curry known as "Pazon ton", different homemade sweets and take part in different traditional sports. The day ends with the Bizu dance. The last day, which is known as Gojjepojje din involves the performances of different socio-religious activities. In the context of its nature some say that Bizu is a festival, which revolves around agricultural activities, Because, it is celebrated in mid-April when the earth is just drenched with the first rain and the jum sowing is taken up. And it is believed that with the objective of getting rich harvest worship of the earth was arranged which later on took the form of a festival.However oflate it has lost its agricultural character.
It is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Baisakh.It actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and passing away (Parinirvāna) of Lord Buddha.On the day of the worship devotees go to the monastery with Siyong (offerings of rice,vegetable and other fruits and confectionaries).The Buddhist priests known as Bhikkhu lead the devotees for chanting of mantra composed in Pali in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples).Apart from this,other practices such as lighting of thousands of lamps, releasing of Phanuch Batti (an auspicious lamp made of paper in the form of a balloon) are also done as and when possible.
Bengal, which was published as Descripção do Reino de Bengalla in the book Quarta decada da Asia(Fourth decade of Asia) by João de Barros in 1615. The map shows a place called "Chacomas" on the eastern bank of the river Karnaphuli, suggesting that this is where the Chakmas used to live at that time. The Arakan king Meng Rajagri (1593–1612) conquered this land, and in a 1607 letter to a Portuguese merchant, Philip de Brito Nicote addressed himself as the highest and most powerful king of Arakan, of Chacomas and of Bengal.
Defeated by the Arakanese, the Chakmas entered the present Chittagong Hill Tracts and made Alekyangdong, present-day Alikadam, their capital. From Alekyangdong they went north and settled in the present-day Rangunia, Rauzan, and Fatikchari upazillas of Chittagong District.
The Chakmas ( Chakma or ), also known as the Changhma (চাংমা), are a community that inhabits the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, the North-East India and Rakhine state of Myanmar. The Chakmas are the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, making up more than half the tribal population. In Myanmar the Chakmas are known as Daingnet people. Chakmas are divided into 46 clans or Gozas. A tribal group called Tongchangya (তঞ্চংগ্যা) are also considered to be a branch of the Chakma people. Both tribes speak the same language, have the same customs and culture, and profess the same religion, Theravada Buddhism.
Chakmas are Tibeto-Burman, and are thus closely related to tribes in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Chakmas are believed to be originally from Arakan who later on moved to Bangladesh, settling in the Cox's Bazar District, the Korpos Mohol area, and in the Indian states of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura.The Arakanese referred to the Chakmas as Saks or Theks. In 1546, when the king of Arakan, Meng Beng, was engaged in a battle with the Burmese, the Sak king appeared from the north and attacked Arakan, and occupied the Ramu of Cox's Bazar, the then territory of the kingdom of Arakan.
To Know More Click this Link: Chakma History