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This is our bear hut,” the short, vivacious woman shouted through a hand-held loudspeaker, her smile creasing her forehead with deep wrinkles. A blue hat was perched on her head and her short tunic, embroidered with pink geometric designs, was tied sharply at the waist. She pointed at a wooden structure made of round logs, raised high above the ground on stilts.

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“We caught the bears as cubs and raised them as a member of the family. They shared our food and lived in our village. When the time came, we set one free back into nature and killed the other to eat.”

Having treated the bear well in life, her people believe the spirit of the sacred animal, which they worship as a deity, will ensure the continued good fortune of their community.

Kimiko Naraki is 70 but looks decades younger. She is Ainu, an indigenous people who now live mostly on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, but whose lands once spanned from northern Honshu (the Japanese mainland) north to Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands (which are now a disputed part of the Russian Federation). The Ainu have long been of interest to anthropologists because of their cultural, linguistic and physical identity, but most travellers will not have heard of them. That’s because although they were the earliest settlers of Hokkaido, they were oppressed and marginalised by Japanese rule for centuries.
Farmers are taking paddy in rafts as the flood waters have increased in Chilmari of Kurigram.  The photo was taken from Karai Barisal area of ​​Chilmari Union - PBA

 PBA, Kurigram: Although the waters of Brahmaputra and Dharla rivers are stable in Kurigram, new areas are being flooded due to severe erosion.  The upazila is now waterlogged after the LGED road broke in the Bandab area of ​​Roumari.  The entire upazila was flooded on Tuesday night when a dam broke in the glass mill area of ​​Chilmari upazila.  As a result, about 6 lakh people have been trapped in the flood waters.  People who have been stuck at home for the past one week have not been able to cook due to the fuel crisis.  Despite keeping cattle in high places, the householders have become helpless due to lack of cattle feed.  There is a lack of clean water and dry food.  As a result, wailing has started among the flood victims.
 According to the control room of the district administration, 498 villages in 57 unions have been inundated due to the floods.  6 lakh 9 thousand people from 1 lakh 52 thousand 400 families have been flooded.  One and a half lakh houses have been damaged.  More than 5,000 people have been affected by the landslide.  The floods have damaged 32 km of dams, 72 km of unpaved roads and 18 km of paved roads.  The floods have partially damaged 417 educational institutions and completely damaged two.  Due to the flood waters, 15,160 hectares of crops have been damaged.  About 4,000 people have taken shelter in 21 shelters in the district.