What is World Tribal Day, when is it, and why is it celebrated?

Welcome, friends! Are you curious to know what World Tribal Day is? When was the first Vishv Adivasi Divas celebrated? And why is World Tribal Day celebrated on August 9th? If you have any questions related to International Tribal Day (International Tribal Day in Hindi) / International Tribal Day / International Indigenous Day / World Native Day, I am here to help you in this article. Let’s dive into the details.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples:

Please make sure to read the entire article to gain complete information, as half-incomplete information is of no use and can sometimes lead to misunderstandings. So, read this article carefully and enhance your knowledge.

What is World Tribal Day?

Every year on August 9th, tribal communities from different regions around the world organize community events to celebrate their civilizations and customs, expressing collective happiness. Tribal communities are known for their reverence for nature. On these special days, they worship various elements of nature, such as creatures, animals, mountains, rivers, streams, fields, forest, the sun, and the moon. These tribal communities believe that there is life in everything present in nature; they are true worshipers of nature.

On this day, members of the tribal community hoist a special flag in their fields and houses. These flags can be of any color and usually depict symbols like the sun, moon, and stars. There is no restriction on a particular color for these flags.

When is Vishv Adivasi Divas and Tribal Day celebrated?:

World Tribal Day, also known as International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, is a globally recognized observance that was first observed on August 9th, 1994. It aims to promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide and raise awareness about their unique cultures, traditions, languages, and issues they face.

What is Johar?

“Johar” is the local word used by Adivasi tribes to express welcome and gratitude. The term “Johar” was first used by Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes). Literally, “Johar” means “Glory to Nature.” It signifies complete dedication towards nature and recognizes its role in the welfare of all.

Why is World Tribal Day celebrated on August 9th?

The United Nations organized a special meeting on August 9, 1982, to address the issues faced by tribal communities. Since then, this date has been celebrated as “World Tribal Day” every year on August 9th, aiming to raise awareness and protect the rights of indigenous populations worldwide. This event also acknowledges the achievements and contributions of indigenous peoples in addressing global issues like environmental protection.

What is the history of World Tribal Day?

In the 21st century, the United Nations Organization (UNO) realized that tribal communities were facing neglect, unemployment, and bonded child labor. To address these issues and protect the human rights of tribal communities, a working group called the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations (UNWGIP) was formed in 1982. The United Nations organized the first meeting of UNWGIP on August 9, 1982, to advocate for the interests of tribal. During the 11th session of UNWGIP in 1993, the UN recognized the stories and struggles of indigenous peoples.

As a result, on December 23, 1994, through resolution 49/214, the United Nations declared that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples would be celebrated on August 9th every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This date commemorates the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in 1982. The United Nations urged all member countries to celebrate International Tribal Day on August 9th annually.

Significance of World Tribal Day:

World Tribal Day holds immense significance as it promotes awareness about the unique cultures, traditions, and challenges faced by indigenous communities worldwide. It serves as a platform to recognize and respect the rights of indigenous peoples. Through celebrations, events, and discussions, World Tribal Day aims to foster cultural exchange, highlight indigenous achievements, and strengthen efforts for environmental protection and social justice.

Success stories:

One inspiring success story is that of the Gond tribe in central India, known for their rich art and craftsmanship. Gond paintings have gained international recognition for their intricate patterns and vibrant colors. This art form not only preserves the tribe’s cultural heritage but has also provided economic opportunities for Gond artists, empowering their community.

Celebrations and events:
World Tribal Day is marked by various events, celebrations, and activities around the world. Cultural festivals, exhibitions, conferences, and gatherings are organized to commemorate the day. For example, the “Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Festival” in Canada showcases diverse indigenous traditions, performances, and art. These events provide a platform for indigenous communities to share their stories, foster understanding, and celebrate their vibrant cultures.

Indigenous rights and challenges:

Despite progress, indigenous communities continue to face challenges such as land rights, discrimination, poverty, education, healthcare, and cultural preservation. Many organizations, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, work towards addressing these issues and advocating for indigenous rights at international and national levels. Efforts are being made to strengthen legal frameworks and promote inclusive policies that safeguard the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples.

Cultural heritage preservation:

Preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of indigenous communities is of utmost importance. Traditional practices, languages, folklore, and craftsmanship play a vital role in maintaining their identity and enriching the world’s cultural diversity. Initiatives such as documenting oral histories, supporting language revitalization programs, and promoting indigenous arts and crafts contribute to preserving and promoting indigenous cultures.

Indigenous knowledge and sustainability:

Indigenous communities possess traditional ecological knowledge that is vital for environmental conservation and sustainable living. Their deep connection to the land and nature offers valuable insights into sustainable practices, resource management, and biodiversity conservation. Recognizing and integrating indigenous wisdom into global efforts to address climate change and promote sustainability can lead to more effective solutions.

International collaborations and support:

International collaborations and partnerships are crucial in supporting indigenous communities. Governments, NGOs, and indigenous organizations work together to address indigenous rights, social development, and cultural preservation. Organizations like the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and Cultural Survival advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights and provide support through capacity-building programs, funding initiatives, and legal advocacy.


World Tribal Day, also known as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, is a globally recognized observance celebrated on August 9th. It was first observed in 1994 to promote and protect the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. The day holds immense significance as it raises awareness about the unique cultures, traditions, and challenges faced by indigenous communities. It serves as a platform to recognize and respect their rights, foster cultural exchange, and strengthen efforts for environmental protection and social justice. World Tribal Day celebrates the rich cultural heritage of indigenous peoples and acknowledges their contributions to addressing global issues. Despite challenges, progress is being made in supporting indigenous rights, preserving cultural heritage, integrating indigenous knowledge into sustainability efforts, and fostering international collaborations to empower and uplift indigenous communities. Through celebrations, events, and initiatives, World Tribal Day highlights the importance of embracing diversity and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples globally.

Frequently Asked Questions for World Tribal Day

When did Tribal Day come into force?

World Tribal Day came into force on December 23, 1994.

What was the theme of World Tribal Day?

The theme of the World Indigenous Peoples Day in 1994 was “People around the world were encouraged to spread the message of the United Nations on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

What is the theme of World Tribal Day 2021?

The United Nations has declared the theme for the 2021 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples as “Leaving No One Behind: Indigenous Peoples and a Call for a New Social Contract.” The commemoration will be held on Monday, August 9th, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (EST).

In how many countries is World Tribal Day celebrated?

World Tribal Day is celebrated in all 193 member states of the United Nations, including India, which plays a prominent role in the recognition and celebration of indigenous cultures.

What is the population of tribals in the world?

Approximately 370 million people belong to tribal communities worldwide, who diligently preserve their civilizations and customs. These communities embrace their rich cultural heritage and traditions, even using utensils discovered during the excavation of Harappan culture and Mohenjodaro for their meals. In India, tribal communities are officially known as Scheduled Tribes, with a population of 104.5 million according to the 2011 census. This accounts for 8.6% of India’s population. Major tribal communities in India include Munda, Bodo, Bhil, Oraon, Lohar, Pardhan, Khasi, Sahariya, Gond, Khadiya, Ho, Santhal, Meena, Birhor, Pardhi, Andh, Tokre Koli, Andh, Malhar Koli, Takankar, and many more.

What is the role of the tribal community in global warming?

The escalating issue of global warming concerns us all. The changes in nature that have led to this situation are deeply troubling. However, the tribal community has played a significant role in maintaining the natural balance and will continue to do so. Their traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable practices contribute to environmental conservation and sustainable living. Indigenous communities have a deep understanding of their local ecosystems and employ practices that promote biodiversity and minimize environmental impact. Incorporating indigenous wisdom and practices can significantly contribute to global efforts to address climate change and protect our planet for future generations.

In which states of India do tribals reside, and how many are there?

In India, tribal communities are dispersed across various states. Here is the distribution of tribal population in some states:

Jharkhand: 26.2%
West Bengal: 5.49%
Bihar: 0.99%
Uttar Pradesh: 0.07%
Arunachal Pradesh: 68.08%
Tripura: 31.08%
Mizoram: 94.04%
Manipur: 35.01%
Sikkim: 33.08%
Meghalaya: 86.01%
Nagaland: 86.05%
Assam: 12.04%

These states are home to diverse tribal communities, each with its unique cultural practices, languages, and traditions. The presence of tribal communities in these states contributes to the rich cultural tapestry of India.

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