Profile Source: Anonymous
Introduction / History
The name Gaddi is said to have come from the word Gaderan which is a term used in Himachal Pradesh for the 'local hilly regions'. Traditionally the people trace their origin to the Muslim invasion of Pakistan and north India. They understand that they lived in the Punjab region and took refuge in the highlands ranges. The Gaddi today live across much of northern India, Nepal and Pakistan. Although the larger Gaddi populations in India used to be a scheduled tribe they are no longer.
What are Their Lives Like?
The Gaddis have a strong tradition of living in mountainous areas and working in animal husbandry and selling dairy products. They also have a tradition of landowning and some as nomadic herdsmen. Today many still continue in milk selling, animal husbandry and agriculture, but in Nepal their smaller communities can be found in any number of labour jobs or small businesses. Fewer Gaddis are using the Gaddi language but appear to prefer Nepali and Urdu or Bhojpuri as a means of communication in Nepal. Some of the Gaddi traditional clothes and head covering like the khadi (cap) and chalu (robe) are much less common today. The Gaddis are Sunni Muslims in Nepal and follow the traditional rites and rituals of Islam.
What are Their Needs?
As sellers and tradesmen the Gaddi could be an excellent bridge of the Gospel into many other Muslim groups. There are no known Christians in Nepal and few Christians have ever met a Gaddi Muslim!