Koch Rajbongshi people

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Koch–Rajbongshi community (also known as Kochrajbongshi, Rajbongshi, Koch) is an Indigenous Community of Assam found in parts of present-day Nepal; Bangladesh; the Indian states of Assam, Meghalaya, northern parts of West Bengal as well as in Kishanganj district of Bihar.[1]

Controversy of the term[edit]

The term Koch-Rajbongshi has sparked many controversies recently. Koches who identify themselves as Koch Rajbongshi, Rajbongshi (in Assam & West Bengal) and Koch (in Meghalaya) have never used the term to identify their tribe but by their sub-tribes such as Wanang, Harigaya, Tintikiya, Margan. They also relate themselves to other members of their tribe through clans, such as a “kama” clan in a harigaya sub-tribe is related to a “kama” clan in a titikiya sub-tribe, the children always follows the mother's clan, and if a non-koch is married and included into the family, she is given the father’s clan's name. None of this features are practised by the Rajbongshi communities, the language spoken by the Koches of Assam and Meghalaya are Tibeto-Burman and have similarities with the Garo, Boro and Maitri sub-tribes of the Rabha whereas the language spoken by the Rajbongshis is derived from Assamese. This has led to the controversy of whether Koches and Rajbongshis’ as being the same tribe.[citation needed]

Language[edit]

Some speak the Koch language, which is a Sino-Tibetan language closely related to the Bodo language spoken by the Bodo people.

Some speak the Rajbangshi language, which is an Indic language spoken by five million in India, and more than 130,000 by Nepali Rajbanshi and also Tajpuria. Many are bilingual in either Bengali or Assamese.

Primary dialects include Western Rajbanshi, Central Rajbanshi, Eastern Rajbanshi and the dialect of the Rajbanshi of the hills, also known as Kamta or Rajbanshi.

Tradition[edit]

The Rajbongshi have their own tradition and culture, celebrate the Rajbongshi new year with their traditional culture, and have their own culinary tradition. Rajbongshi respect elders and prefer to eat traditional food in their homes and welcoming guests with betel nut and betel leaves.

They have traditionally used branches from Mango trees and bamboo for oral Hygiene. Koch Rajbonshi take baths in a community in nearby lake and they use Ritah for cleaning their hair and for cleaning their costumes, they use stone and sand to rub their body, they use riverside clay on their body as a paste and dry it in the sun then they wash it. Ladies also use to rub turmeric pieces in their skin specially before marriage and before giving birth to a child, it has also been observed that Koch Rajbonshi boys do push ups in small lake during the time of taking bath as an exercise in the water.

Religion and beliefs[edit]

Most Rajbongshis are Hindus, though some follow an animist belief-system called Khavas Tharu.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]