The Changing Garo Adivasi Culture of Bangladesh: a case study of marriage rituals
Md. Rafiqul Islam
This thesis work is mainly focused on the Garos’ cultural changes related to their marriage rituals and comparative situations. From a comparative perspective, the study compared a plain land Garo village, which is to some extent with some urban facilities, and a forest surrounded remote Garo village. The leading research questions are: ‘Why is the Garo culture changing?’ and ‘What are the rituals and steps observed for establishing Garo marriage?’ These issues have been the focus throughout the whole thesis. The project also aims to discuss the Garos’ historical origin and cultural characteristics. The study reveals that Garos’ traditional cultural practices have been changing a lot and over the course of time they are getting quite a new cultural setting. Some internal and external factors are mainly responsible for Garos’ cultural changes. Finally, while the Garo society is changing then they are discarding many of their distinguishing traits and adapting to some other cultural traits. In fact, the process of these changes had started before. However, still today they practice many of their traditional cultural traits. The comparative study findings between the two villages show that despite many similarities, there are very few ritualistic differences between the villages, but comparatively remote Garo village’s culture and tradition are to some extent in less detriment. In these discussions modernization has come as an important factor which is influencing the entire Bangladeshi society as well as the Garos. Under the process of these changes, some aspects of Garos’ future cultural identity have also been addressed. In doing so both historical and empirical data was used; historical data was collected from secondary sources, such as published books, census reports, journals, articles, and souvenir. Empirical data has been gathered from intensive fieldwork, through oral histories, informal interviews, and case study methods. The field investigation was conducted in two villages; Pirgacha and Gaira of Modhupur, Tangali, Bangladesh in June-August 2007.