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Ching Pao and her family

Repar Para bazar is located in Alikadam Upazila of Bandarban District. From Repar Para bazar, if you take adjacent road on your left towards Alikadm, you can / (Will) find a hilly jhiri. Crossing that jhiri, you will easily find the little hilly village Duprojhiri. This is the story about a family of that Mro indigenous village. I have been visiting different hilly villages to take photographs and spend enormous night and day in many families. And I must utter to say that the Duprojhiri is one of my much loved villages where I went first with my friend Rupa Dutta. After that I’ve been visit/visiting Duprojhiri for couple of times.

The lady named Ching Pao is the head of this Mro family, is about seventy three years old and his man Bayon Mro is about eighty four. I think this family still represents a lot in the indigenous Mro community. Religiously many of indigenous people have been converted to Christianity and Krama religion, but this entire village is in Buddhist belief/yet. And like all other hill tribes, they also work hard for living. Zum cultivation is their major livelihood. The main festival is Chiasad (Go-Hottya). Also there is a fair on the first day of the Bengali calendar, named ‘Chankranpoi’ fair. They wait for this fair for entire year. But apart this, two aged people of Duprojhiri as I mentioned earlier are attracted to me and have been fascinated with how they clutch their family like an old tree, with great kindness. Their needs, their urge, day to day living are too ordinary. They have all the beauty of the simplification they contain.

Ching Pao and Bayon Mro are too old for work in zum field now. Ching pao used to go to jhiri holding thurong in her shoulder for bringing water every morning and afternoon. Rest of the time she worked in the house. At this age; she plucks cheese from rice with her blur eyes, also associated with tribal’s weaving machine, pilling-cutting vegetables, cleaning the house and taking full care of grandchildren. Once asked her about dreams for upcoming days and she said, “Grandsons and grandchildren should be healthy-they want to be good. My physical condition is no longer healthy. My whole body is tormented by pain. It should be reduced; this is my only recent wish.’’ Bayon is a professional village Kobiraj. He makes amulets and charms. Every Sunday, he takes a sit in a corner of Repar para market with his rabid and amulets. Those who are familiar with the treatment system of Bayon, they would come and take the service.

They had three children but two of them are already died. The survived children are a boy named Menthon Mro is about 30 years old. Menthon have six boys and girls in his family and altogether they are living in big family. Bayon is also having an age-related disease which is very painful; due to that often he thinks it is better to die. Again, he thinks that the family’s responsibility cannot be managed by his son Menthon. In his words, “I was incapable to teach anyone who knew the knowledge I gather from my ancient master. I don’t know who will carry my baton after me.’’

  • Bazar: Market Place
  • Jhiri: Hilly Stream
  • Krama: An indigenous creed, mainly followed by Mro community
  • Zum: Tribal cultivation system
  • Chiasad or Go-Hottya: An indigenous festival of Cow-Slaughtering
  • Thurong: Local made supplies carrier
  • Kobiraj: Local Charlatan