Lifestyles of Khiangs


A community residing in the mountainous region of Bangladesh comprises individuals classified under the Khiang ethnic group. Other ethnic groups share a common history, traditions, customs, a portion of the alphabet, and a primary tongue.

The Bandarban district of Bangladesh encompasses the Thanchi and Rowangchari upazilas, the Bandarban Sadar upazila, and the Rangamati district. The Khiang people predominantly live in the upazilas of Kaptai, Chandragona, and Rajasthan.

Even in contemporary times, there remains a degree to which the general public ought to acquaint themselves with the way of life of the Khiang people. There are two fundamental rationales for withholding information regarding the Khiang way of life from the general populace. The first cause is a communication issue, while the second is the need for educational institutions to improve their enrollment levels. Conversely, one can often witness the Khiangs’ way of life in action atop this awe-inspiring peak. Consider the following example:

The Khiang people adhered to Buddhism as their faith, and each Khiang clan that formerly inhabited Bangladesh was originally a Buddhist. In recent years, however, most Khiang clans have converted to Christianity. This is due to the absence of a Buddhist guide, which prevented them from receiving the Tripitaka, the words of enlightenment dispensed by the Buddha. Consequently, the Khiang clan’s traditional Buddhist practice is presently perilously close to extinction.

Similar to representatives of other ethnic groups, the Khiang depend on rice as their principal dietary component.

Nevertheless, Nappy (Nhipi) is their most renowned merchandise. They prepare the mixture by blending Khiangra Nappi (Nhipi) with a variety of curries. Khiang’s bamboo chunga is renowned for its versatility in culinary preparation.

Agricultural practices in the Khiang: Agriculture on the Khiangs’ land consists primarily of jum cultivation. Jum cultivation served as the principal source of sustenance for the Khiang communities. They grow a variety of commodities through jump cultivation, including paddy, vegetables, maize, mountain potatoes, binni paddy, cucumber, ginger, brinjal, sesame, cotton, and yellow. They do, however, require transportation connections to negotiate a reasonable price.

The Khiangs’ education: Compared to other ethnic minorities, the Khiangs have a minimal educational background. Educational and collegiate attendance pose a significant obstacle for Khiang clan pupils, as most of their clans inhabit mountainous regions inaccessible to the general public. A higher attrition rate at the elementary and secondary levels is particularly common among Khiang students. Due to the absence of a Khiang language and alphabet curriculum at the elementary level, the Khiang language and alphabet are on the verge of extinction. The government, nevertheless, has preserved the Khiang alphabet in the form of a book.

Appropriately constructed from bamboo, matching dwellings are the most prevalent architectural style among the Khiang people. Khiang clan members are particularly adept at constructing dwellings from trees and bamboo. Numerous observations indicate that individuals should be wary of their dwellings’ structural integrity in the face of natural catastrophes. Additionally, natural disasters have devastated a number of their dwellings. Suffering and surviving in this fashion is their only option.

Marriage Regulations in the Khiangs: The Khiangs, like other ethnic minorities, follow a distinct set of customs and principles concerning matrimony. A Khiang son or daughter may wed a member of any caste; however, their matrimonial unions are somewhat peculiar. Before proceeding, bring a medium-sized chicken body to a simmer in a small bamboo loft. After that, two more bamboo poles are filled with alcohol.

Furthermore, in the Khiang community, those in charge of the matrimonial arrangements question the bride and groom before the nuptials whether they are legitimately consenting to this joyous union or if they are under duress. Socially beneficial marriages are characterised by reciprocal support and assistance between the spouses. The individual should then enter a second marriage, which their religion considers auspicious.

The Khiang clans are patrilineal to a significant degree; they pass down their property inheritance. Thus, the entire family estate bequeaths its possessions to the solitary son. In the absence of a son, the offspring of the head of the family, if said family head has a brother, shall inherit the property of the head of the family.

Festivities honouring the Khiangs The Sanglan festival is significant and one of the Khiang people’s most important celebrations. In observance of the Bengali New Year and as a farewell to the preceding year, the Khiang clans organise the Sanglan festival. Furthermore, the Khiang people observe various other festivals, including but not limited to the Henei Pai Festival, Changsha Pai Festival, and Jap Pai Festival.

Khiang individuals occasionally ingest alcohol (Alaq). Alcohol intoxicates the Khiang people. Khiangs imbibe alcoholic beverages at a variety of festivities. Consider the following example: Attendance at the Opel Pai Festival, Henei Pai Festival, Changsha Pai Festival, Jap Pai Festival, and Nhui Pai Festival is obligatory and requires a substantial quantity of alcoholic beverages. Additional alternatives include tobacco leaves and bamboo hookahs.

Cultural traditions have established a distinct dress code for the Khiang people. In general, women do not wear white dhotis, whereas men do. Nevertheless, given the multitude of developments that have occurred in recent times, Khiangra trousers, shirts, three-pieces, blouses, and various other garments are currently considered fashionable.

In observance of the Khiang people’s numerous celebrations, the lineages of the Khiang prepare the traditional dish pitha. Similarly, if not for pitha, the celebration would be devoid of substance. Prominent pithas of Khiang include the following: Nhchei Han Pitha (Banana Leaf Wiped Pitha), Muipong Han Pitha (Steamed Pitha), Pakon ha ha pitha, Haichi: Haan pitha (Mango bichi pitha), Achhe: Haan pitha (Tana pitha), and numerous others. It is possible to create pithas.

The Khiangs are renowned for their entertainment, which includes religious songs, riddles, quips, khapja ai songs, dances, rhymes, Phila games (length), late games, and yochshunei. Compared to other communities, this is one of the Khiangs’ primary forms of entertainment. Apart from engaging in gaming activities, they also appreciate various forms of entertainment.

In addition to encompassing traditional attire, social norms, religious observances, dietary practices, and Kinsig residences, the term “Khiang culture” also pertains to language, the Sanglan festival, and social regulations.

In summary, the Khiang clans, in conjunction with other ethnic communities inhabiting the elevated regions of Bangladesh, have significantly contributed to the mountain’s aesthetic appeal by integrating an extensive array of cultural and traditional practices.

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