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Bangladesh

Garo Christians defy pandemic to celebrate harvest festival

Covid outbreak forces indigenous community to shorten traditional Wangala festivities

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Garo Christians defy pandemic to celebrate harvest festival

Young Garo girls dressed in traditional costume perform a dance during the Wangala harvest festival in Tangail district of Bangladesh in this file photo. (Photo: Stephan Uttom/UCA News)

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Eti Goretti Chisim is rather upset that her two sons and a daughter won’t visit the village home for Wangala, the traditional harvest and thanksgiving festival.

As part of a tradition, Chisim’s mostly Christian Garo tribal people gather in their villages during the October-December season for the annual festival. But the Covid-19 pandemic has made this year different. 

Chisim, 45, a member of the Protestant Church of God, said her sons and daughter live in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka for work and education. Unlike previous years, they have ditched the plan to go to their home in Netrokona district for the festival due to Covid-19. 

Though a bit dispirited, Chisim and her husband expect to join the festival in the Birishiri area on Dec. 4.

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