Introduction / History
The Bhand or Bhanr people get their name from the term in Sanskrit for 'jester' or bhanda. They are an occupational lower caste people who have been singers, dancers, actors and jesters since the days of feudal Kingdoms in India.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Today the Bhands are still known for their singing, dancing and story-telling in many areas of north and central India. The Damaleh Bhand in India are especially known for their folk-dance, folk-music and playing of the drum and flute. Most Bhand, however, can be found to have left their traditional occupation and moved into small business selling of household goods or toys. Being of a lower caste has forced some into rick-shaw pulling and begging for subsistance. The Bhands are Sunni Muslim and speak Maithili as well as Nepali and Urdu. Literacy is very low and many children are not able to attend school though the boys often attend some Islamic instruction.
What Are Their Needs?
Because of their prominent traditional position in the community in performing, the Bhand community ought to be more open to outside communication and likely the Gospel. Few have ever approached the Muslim Bhand in Nepal with the Gospel and consequently there are no known believers.
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