Dhobi, Hindu traditions in Bangladesh






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The old Indian man slowly straightens up from his bowed position as his young grandson waits impatiently. It is the first time the boy has been allowed to accompany the older boys and men to the river, and he is eager to begin. But first they must bow to the washing stone. As their ancestors before them, they earn their meager living by washing clothes for the higher castes. They are Dhobis, one of India's Dalit communities, formerly known as "untouchables." Their diet is mostly vegetables and grains, with an occasional bit of meat.

When a Dhobi girl marries, her dowry usually contains just a few items, but almost always an iron. After the men wash the customers' clothes, the women iron them and keep the money they earn to pay for household expenses. Mothers teach the girls to iron at an early age, and boys help their fathers by washing the smaller articles of clothing and by delivering packages of clean clothes to their owners.

Most of the Dhobis follow popular Hinduism and worship local gods as well as the washing stones. The vast majority of these Dalits remain Hindu, but they have contact with other communities.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the Dhobi people will hear the gospel and discover that Jesus Christ can wash away their sins.
* Pray that believers will tactfully share gospel recordings and play Christian radio broadcasts for Dhobi Hindus.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will give faith to the Dhobis.

Video Links:
I Am Guilty
People Name General Dhobi, Hindu traditions
People Name in Country Dhobi, Hindu traditions
Population in Bangladesh 199,000
World Population 12,672,000
Countries 4
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Agasa, Agasaru, Agheria, Bana, Batham, Bhai, Chakala, Chakali, Chakka, Chandbar, Charhoya, Chasa, Chasa Dhoba, Chauhan-Bhatti, Chawla, Chhimba, Darhi, Dharhiadu, Dharhiannan, Dharhiannari, Dhob, Dhoba, Dhobi, Dhopa, Dhopi, Dhupi, Hawari, Jada, Khurdanai, Madivala, Madiwal, Madiyal, Madiyali, Madvali, Madwai, Modiyal, Monson, Nurang, Oddelu, Oddollu, Oriya Chakali, Oriyavallu, Pak, Parit, Prasad Dhobi, Qasab, Raipal, Rajak, Rajaka, Rajakha, Rajpar, Rajput Dhobi, Rajukula, Ram Dhobi, Ramdu, Ranghi, Rathor, Sabhasundar, Sakala, SakalaDarhi, Sakalavadu, Sat-Chasi, Shaheri, Sharma, Sheheri Hindu, Shuklabaidya, Shukladas, Sukladas, Suklavaidya, Tanwar, Tasha, Togata, Tsakala, Vadde Chakali, Vannan, Vannari, Varetha, Varitha, Vattakkadan, Warathi, Watts
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Name General Dhobi, Hindu traditions
Ethnic Code CNN25c
People ID 16709
Country Bangladesh
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 43  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  7  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chittagong (75,000) Dhaka (56,000) Barisal (37,000) Sylhet (12,000)
Khulna (9,400) Rajshahi (7,900) Rangpur (2,500)
Total States on file:  7  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chittagong (75,000) Dhaka (56,000)
Barisal (37,000) Sylhet (12,000)
Khulna (9,400) Rajshahi (7,900)
Rangpur (2,500)
Languages & Dialects on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Bengali (162,000) Sylheti (9,500) Chittagonian (1,400) Kok Borok (400)
Bishnupriya (30)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Bengali 162,000 Sylheti 9,500
Chittagonian 1,400 Kok Borok 400
Bishnupriya 30
For Primary Language: Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1800-1980)
New Testament Yes   (1801-1984)
Complete Bible Yes   (1809-2000)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bengali Bible stories Audio Recordings
Bengali Language Film Film / Video
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Mussulmani-Bangla, Kitabul Mukkados Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Standard Bangla Common Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: কিতাবুল মোকাদ্দস Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Christ for the Nations Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
General Ministry Resources Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Bengali Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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