The seminar, titled 'Importance and Challenges of Protecting Heritage of Small Ethnic Groups in Promoting National Culture,' was organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and held at its auditorium
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid announced, at a seminar in the capital on Thursday, that the government has planned to set up three multipurpose cultural centres in the three hilly districts of Khagrachari, Rangamati, and Bandarban.
The seminar, titled “Importance and Challenges of Protecting Heritage of Small Ethnic Groups in Promoting National Culture,” was organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and held at its auditorium.
Speaking as the chief guest KM Khalid said: “The government has a plan to set up multipurpose cultural centres in the three districts to protect the culture and diversity of the ethnic people living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region.”
Khalid also added that the government is working earnestly to protect the culture, tradition, heritage, and diversity of the country’s indigenous communities.
The State Minister for Cultural Affairs also mentioned that on March 23, the government officially recognized 50 indigenous communities—instead of 27—by issuing a gazette notification.
Highlighting the government’s initiatives to protect the indigenous communities, the state minister said the government has already set up three cultural centres in the country to patronize, promote, and protect their culture and tradition.
“The Ministry of Cultural Affairs is conducting research on the history, religions, tradition, culture, and customs of the small ethnic groups here,” Khalid added.
Renowned historian and academic Professor Dr Syed Anwar Husain, who was the keynote speaker, explored different aspects of indigenous community’s culture—that include language, tradition, and festivals—in his speech.
He said these groups are contributing to enriching the country’s cultural history through their diverse social customs and culture.
The Bangabandhu Chair of the Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) Professor Husain, discussed the opportunities for cultural exchange and cooperation for their development, adding that the development of indigenous culture could bring unity in diversity; which ultimately could promote and strengthen national solidarity.
Chaired by BIISS Director General Major General AKM Abdur Rahman, the seminar was addressed, among others, by Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tract Development Board Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, Vice-Chancellor of Rangamati Science and Technology University Professor Dr Pradanendu Bikash Chakma, Acting Secretary of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Ministry Md Mesbahul Islam, and Regional Commander of Bangladesh Army (Bandarban Region) Brigadier General Khandaker Md Shahidul Emran.
Representatives from the small indigenous communities of Bangladesh, scholars, academia, policymakers, former ambassadors, public and military officials, students, and representatives from the media were also present at the seminar.
They highlighted various aspects of promoting the cultural diversity of different indigenous communities in Bangladesh.