Rongkup in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Rongkup are an indigenous people of northeastern India, Bhutan and Nepal. Most of the population lives in India with smaller groups in Bhutan and Nepal. The Rongkup speak the Sino-Tibetan language of Lepcha. Some Indian Rongkup also speak Bengali, which allows them to communicate with outsiders. The Lepcha language has its own script based on Sanskrit. Since the Rongkup are an indigenous people, they are outside the traditional Hindu caste system.


Most Rongkup of India live in the states of Sikkim and West Bengal.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Rongkup engage in farming rice, millet, barley, maize, and wheat along with fruit and vegetables. Fish and chicken supplement their diets. They make an alcoholic drink from millet.


Besides farming, the Lepcha also specialize in carpentry, spinning and weaving. There is no division of labor based on sex. A man may spin and a woman may weave, or vice versa. Men and women work side by side in the fields. Rural citizens of Nepal pay little or no taxes. However, they are required to work without pay for local projects.


Village communities and extended families are a part of the culture. The Rongkup generally live in scattered communities. Sometimes they build settlements of two or three houses huddled together in heavily forested areas near their fields. They make their houses of finely woven bamboo strips or wood and have thatched roofs.


The Rongkup are gentle and live peacefully with little crime in their villages. They believe that aggression destroys the community, and elders handle all quarrels.


They have an oral culture. Dances, music on traditional instruments and singing take place on holidays.


The Rongkup marry within their group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. The local shaman finds an auspicious day for the wedding based on the birthdays of the groom and bride. Due to lack of access to modern medicine, child mortality is high. Couples tend to have a large number of children so some will survive to adulthood.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Lepcha consider themselves Buddhists. However, they practice two major religious philosophies: Lamaism, derived from Buddhism, and Mun, a folk religion. Though they are contradictory, they practice these beliefs simultaneously. The Mun religion involves a special relationship with a family spirit. They use animal sacrifices and direct communication to appease and ward off evil spirits that may cause disease or disaster.


For Lamaistic Buddhists, offering animal sacrifices is a terrible sin. They found their philosophy on reincarnation (continuous cycle of death and rebirth), and they believe that their works in this life will either reward or punish them in their next life.


There are a sizable number of Christians among the Rongkup of India. It is unknown how many of these believers are evangelicals. The complete Bible in Lepcha became available in 1989.


What Are Their Needs?

Many Rongkup do not have access to electricity or modern medicine. Medical teams of believers can help the Rongkup. The Rongkup people would benefit from the installation of solar panels. Christians can start schools so they can read the Rongkup Bible.


The Rongkup people need to hear a clear presentation of the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life. He can free them from their fear of evil spirits.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Rongkup in India.

Ask the Lord to send Christian medical personnel and teachers to share the love of Jesus with the Rongkup in India. Pray that Christian radio broadcasts and evangelical literature will be made available to the Rongkup. Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Rongkup who will boldly proclaim the gospel. Pray for a strong church planting movement for all Rongkup communities.


 


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Rongkup
People Name in Country Rongkup
Population this Country 78,000
Population all Countries 86,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 6  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Lap-cha; Lapche; Mutanchi; Mutanchi Rongkup; Nunpa; Rong; Rongke; लेपचा
People ID 13041
ROP3 Code 105723
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The majority live in the Dzongu District of the north Indian state of Sikkim and the Darjeeling District of West Bengal. Smaller numbers live in the valleys of south-west Bhutan, while approximately 2,000 more inhabit the Ilam District of Mechi Zone in eastern Nepal.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file 5
Largest States
Sikkim
41,000
West Bengal
37,000
Arunachal Pradesh
200
Tripura
200
Andaman and Nicobar
10
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The majority live in the Dzongu District of the north Indian state of Sikkim and the Darjeeling District of West Bengal. Smaller numbers live in the valleys of south-west Bhutan, while approximately 2,000 more inhabit the Ilam District of Mechi Zone in eastern Nepal..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States 5
  Sikkim 41,000
  West Bengal 37,000
  Arunachal Pradesh 200
  Tripura 200
  Andaman and Nicobar 10
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Lepcha (52,000 speakers)
Language Code lep   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Nepali
21,000
Sikkimese
700
Limbu
300
Hindi
300
Sherpa
300
Bengali
200
Naga, Liangmai
100
Tibetan, Central
80
Santhali
30
Kok Borok
30
Meitei
30
Kurux
20
English
20
Deori
20
Mizo
Primary Language Lepcha (52,000 speakers)
Language Code lep   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Nepali 21,000
  Sikkimese 700
  Limbu 300
  Hindi 300
  Sherpa 300
  Bengali 200
  Naga, Liangmai 100
  Tibetan, Central 80
  Santhali 30
  Kok Borok 30
  Meitei 30
  Kurux 20
  English 20
  Deori 20
  Mizo 10
People Groups Speaking Lepcha

Primary Language:  Lepcha

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1845-1989)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1989)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Lepcha
General Gospel resources links
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
70.28 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
25.66 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
3.57 %
Islam
0.23 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.13 %
Unknown
0.13 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


--; ?>