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    Volume 9 Issue 4 | January 22, 2010|

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Photo Feature

A King's Festival

Julfikar Ali Manik

The rule of kings has become a part of fairy tales which children still love to listen to. In Bangladesh, the heritage of monarchies remains one of the key attractions for people. While it no longer has any functional value, it is more of a ceremonial tradition that has endured over the years. Paying tax to the king has become a major ceremony in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Introduced by the ninth Bomang king in 1875, the 134-year-old tradition of collecting taxes formally by the Bomang Family in Bandarban has become the biggest annual festival of the indigenous people. On January 14, the incumbent Bomang King Aung Shai Pru Chowdhury formally collected tax from the local people -- a tradition known as Rajpunyah. Hundreds of local and foreign tourists gathered there to witness the colourful ceremony.

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