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A Mandi Village: Chunia

In Bangladesh, many diversified ethnic groups are living from ages. These groups live in both hills and plains.  Garo or Mandi is one of the indigenous tribes. This indigenous ethnic group living in plain land and as well they are the largest group who living in plains of Bangladesh. But they are also in threat of extinct. Chunia is a village of Madhupur PS under Tangail district of Bangladesh. About 200 Mandi families are living in Chunia. Although the main religion of the Mandi’s is still Sangsharek, but at present the number of its follower is almost zero.  The process of converting the community was started from the beginning of the 19th century. Nevertheless, few of the aboriginal Shangsharek still hold the faith in this belief, among them Acchu Jonik Nokrek is one of the prime. All of them call him Acchu. Acchu means grandfather and grandparent. He is about 114 years old. Acchu said, `Brara is superior deity than Misi Salzong and rice has come to earth as a human. They’re people. They live in the earth as form of rice. When the world goes bad, then the Master or God is born. Just like the way Sri Krishna has emerged.’  There are lot of Mandi deity and goddesses and as well enormous worship and rituals. They do not worship the inert thing or the demon. But they consider that life can be imposed on inert matter. For this reason, faith of the Mandi religion is also called `Animism’. Now a day, religious and cultural heritage is going to become extinct due to conversion of aboriginals. Yet, the natural splendor of the village surrounded by Salon has kept all its beauty still alive; may be just for Janik Nokrek. The village got awake latent around Acchu. People are also rotate surrounding him. Most interesting thing is that, people who are not in practice of their old belief are also participating in the Mandi worship and rituals. That is, religious festivals have also been mixed with cultural traditions.