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Border culture in the northern region of Bangladesh: An anthropological study

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dc.contributor.author Sumon, Nur Mohammud Sajjadul Hoque
dc.date.accessioned 2000-04-02T18:23:24Z
dc.date.available 2000-04-02T18:23:24Z
dc.date.issued 2018-04-17
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1209
dc.description This dissertation has been prepared for the fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph D) in Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh. en_US
dc.description.abstract Bangladesh and India share a common and well demarcated land boundary, which came into existence, as a result of partition of the erstwhile Britain-ruled Indian subcontinent. These countries are the end product of partition of Indian subcontinent. In the case of Bangladesh-India border, religion is one of the important determinants to define border culture. But in this study entitled “Border Culture in the Northern Region of Bangladesh: An Anthropological Study” [this titled dissertation has been prepared for the fulfillment of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph D) in Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh] at Diar Manik Chak (DMC) border area of Bangladesh, it is not so important how it is in the case of other parts of the border areas of these two neighboring countries because the border Lalgola of India, which is connected with Diar Manik Chak (DMC) border of Bangladesh is also Muslim dominant borderland. People living in the border areas of Bangladesh have developed a unique culture based on their occupation. The question of legality in this regard always remains a concern. Illegal trading is found in most landlocked countries and also in countries surrounded by water bodies. The research, therefore, tried to reveal the types of people, trading network and associated problems. Indeed, an attempt has been made to understand the livelihood pattern of border people as well as the concept of “border culture” in terms of the culture of illegal trading. By keeping this in mind, this research has been conducted at Diar Manik Chak (DMC) border village under Char Asariadoh Union of Godagari upzila in Rajshahi district of northern Bangladesh. The area was selected because of the extent of illegal border trading compared to other places. This research area is within a range of 6 to 7 km from international boundary line of the northern region of Bangladesh. This study was carried out on DMC border area for a period of six months in 2014 and 2015. Both rainy (from June – August, 2014) and dry seasons (September, December, 2014 and January, 2015) have been selected to understand the cultural and economic activities of the study area. Additional two weeks in April, 2016 spent for conducting the study; especially to observe the illegal border trade. This is a descriptive research where anthropological ethnographic investigation process is followed with reflexivity during conducting the study. Here the techniques and tools of qualitative research method like vi observation, discussion with the key informants and administration of unstructured interview schedule according to emic perspective were used during conducting the field study of this research. Purposive sampling was used in this research. Respondents were selected purposively and the unit of this research was the border community. Seven (07) respondents were considered as Key Informants and fifty (50) respondents were taken for unstructured interview. Both male and female are different in terms of age, religion, gender, educational qualification and occupation. Respondents’ occupation indicates that significant number [5 key informants (71.42%) out of 7 and 27 (54%) out of 50 respondents of unstructured interview] of border people of present study area is involved in illegal border trading. Moreover, secondary sources like journals, books, periodicals, newspapers, internet sources and relevant research reports have been reviewed extensively for this study. Presently, the border dwellers at DMC have territorial concept as well as territorial identity. They maintain the border on the basis of ‘nationalism’. Partition plays pivotal role in course of time to create the territorial concept and identity among the borderlanders. It plays an important role to open up new economic opportunities for both legal and illegal trading. Increasing number of family members, failure of earning enough through agriculture, risky but less labor and easy money through illegal trading along with other causes encourages the DMC dwellers (both Muslim and Hindu males and females) to do the border trading, which is marked as part of life and most important livelihood indeed. Trading is maintaining by the people of this border with diversified norms and values which makes the illegal trading distinctive from other occupations and ultimately generates a different border culture in DMC. There are impacts of neighboring Indian Lalgola border in different ways on DMC border. Illegal trading is connected with two states and it is very natural that it bears representation of both the countries and two borders cultures. That is why it can be stated that the border culture of DMC is a mix culture in terms of different trading related occupations. The border culture of Diar Manik Chak is not simple. It is complex, especially in terms of occupation. It can be stated that the culture of Diar Manik Chak is homogenous in terms of religion as it is a Muslim dominated border area and ‘shared culture’ is prevailing in terms of border trading occupation in DMC. Illegal trading is an old occupation and it has its own distinctiveness and importance for livelihood, which shapes border people culturally different vii from the mainland of the country. Illegal border trade- an informal economy became the ‘way of life’ of the border dwellers of Diar Manik Chak which has both positive and negative dimensions. In this dissertation, the first chapter is essentially introductory and outlines the objectives and rationale of the study. The chapter two specifies the literature review, the chapter three theoretical approach and the chapter four focuses on methodology and data analysis, duration of the field work, criteria for selection of the study area, unit of the study, field work experiences and limitations of the study. The chapter five and six made an attempt to give descriptions of the study area and Bangladesh land border respectively. The chapter seven and eight covers the glimpses of partition and its aftermath and partition & the beginning of illegal border trade respectively. The chapter nine reflects border culture of the study area. The chapter ten deals with illegal trading and border culture of the study area and its impact on national and international levels. The final chapter, chapter eleven summarizes the findings of the study and draws a conclusion. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Dhaka en_US
dc.title Border culture in the northern region of Bangladesh: An anthropological study en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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