The Marma people are the second-largest ethnic community in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). Most live in the Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati hill districts of Bangladesh. Some are living in the coastal districts of Cox's Bazar and Patuakhali in Bangladesh. There are over 210,000 Marmas just within Bangladesh.
I had read on the Internet about a monk from this tribe who was injured by the Bangladesh Army during the massacres on April 30th to May 1st, 1986. At that time the Bangladeshi Army in the region were destroying temples, images of Buddha and Buddhist texts. I wanted to find out more about these events, but unfortunately a conversation on the subject never happened. Regardless of the past, the current situation looked calm and normal. People were very friendly; some even invited us into their bamboo stilt homes, which sit about 2 meters above the ground as protection against flooding and wild animals.
Marmas mostly depend on agriculture, practicing – especially formerly – slash-and-burn cultivation on the hills. Their belief in Theravada Buddhism is as deep as the Rakhine society's, with an emphasis on ritual practices in deities. The Marmas also practice animism. After death, Marma elderlies are cremated, while younger deceased Marmas are buried.