Vol. 5 Num 850 Sun. October 15, 2006  

Marmas observe 'waggay' with traditional festivity

Waggay, a Marma word, means freedom. It is a traditional custom of Buddhist Banty (the chief of the Buddhist prayer hall) to stay at least three months in one place. Towards the end, a two-day traditional cultural programme ended at Masterpara in the Khagrachhari district recently.

Some thousand members of the Marma community including men, women, and children attended at the colourful event. To celebrate the day, the keyang (Buddhists' prayer hall) was intricately decorated with flower, leaves and coloured paper. During the two nights, Marma women made a variety of pitha while the traditionally attired young sang, danced and participated in different games.

On the concluding day, different competitions on poetry recitation, art, and general knowledge were organised for children. In the afternoon, a prize distribution function was also held.

Panchha Sowami, Banty chaired the event, while Khagrachhari Press Club president Chowdhury Ataur Rahman Rana was present as chief guest. Journalist Abu Taher Muhammad, Neyong Marma, Mraggah Marma, Uttam Marma were present as guests.

Speakers said, The belief is that by observing waggay the Marma people would prosper and strengthen their bonds within the community.

Members of the Marma community gather at the 'waggay' festival. PHOTO: STAR