Tribal groups have to relocate themselves to create new identities or merge with bigger nations as an adaptive strategy to preserve their inherited social and cultural characteristics, said National Atlas & Thematic Mapping Organisation director Professor Prithivish Nag here on Saturday.

He was speaking on the struggles and strategies of various small indigenous tribes that exist across the borders worldwide on the opening day of a three-day seminar to highlight the issue of trans-border communities in Asia.

The seminar has been jointly organised by the Anthropological Survey of India and Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya.

Delegates from Thailand, Nepal, Russia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Germany as well as India are participating in the international seminar.

Speaking about the cultural clash around the world because of border demarcation Anthropological Survey of India director K. K. Mishra said, “At a time when the geo-political borders define nation-states whose creation or dissolution have marked the global geography since the post-World War II period, the idea of a borderless world is yet to be realised.”

Defining the concept of boundary, Mr. Mishra said, “Political boundary is not necessarily concomitant with the territory occupied by a linguistic or an ethnic group as sometimes small communities are squeezed in between larger nations which in turn help to keep the flow of elements of culture.”

The seminar has a special relevance to India which plays a crucial role when it comes to trans-border cultures and their influences because of its vastness and wide diversity of people, culture and polities, he said.

International borders act as a challenge as well as opportunity for creating a platform for cultural flow, the delegates observed.

A 12-day exhibition titled “Simanta” (borders) was inaugurated along side to portray the experiences of the trans-border communities through audio-visual medium.