Thami 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 Thami were originally a nomadic tribe that settled just to the east of Katmandu, Nepal's capital. Legend says that the first Thami couple had seven sons and seven daughters. When the parents could not find suitable marriage partners for their children, they allowed them to intermarry. The Thami tribes are their descendants.
The physical characteristics and overall customs of the Thami lead many to believe that they are of Mongolian descent. Their native language, Thangmi, is a Tibeto-Burman language. Thangmi is usually spoken at home, but Nepali is used in outside communication. They have no written script.
Most of the Thami people live either in India or Nepal, but a smaller number are in China or Bhutan. Those who live in India are in Darjeeling.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Thami are hard-working and extremely honest but are often easily exploited by neighboring peoples. They are looked down upon; some try to pass themselves as members of other ethnic groups. There are recent efforts to promote Thami art as a way to give them better social standing.
The Thami scarcely manage to survive as farmers or stone quarry workers. Often the men have to carry large heavy stones great distances to make a living. To escape from this hardship, many of the Thami have traveled to find other work. Their economic conditions are very poor, but the Thami do not seem to be anxious about their circumstances. In fact, they are often willing to go into debt to hold a feast or a celebration.
Their staple diet is fish and dhendo, a mush made of millet or maize flour. They often consume a lot of alcohol and eat the meat of goats, foul, ducks and cows. Still, many people suffer from malnutrition.
They consider marriage to be a very sacred institution. They believe in staying faithful to one partner until death. When a young man desires to marry, a go-between, called a lami, goes to the girl's house with three roti (bread) and two other people. If the lami is received, the bread is placed in front of the girl and her parents. If they accept the bread as a gift, talks proceed and the marriage is arranged. If the gift does not accept the proposal, the lami hides the bag in the girl's house and reports the failure of the negotiations to the man.
Three days after a child is born, the floor of the house is cleaned with a mixture of cow dung and water. Both the house and people are sprinkled with cow urine in order to purify them. The child's wrists, waist, and ankles are tied with threads wet with turmeric (yellow dye made from a plant grown in this region). The threads must go around seven times before being tied. The child is then given a name according to the day on which he/she was born. The child's maternal family then feasts on fish, lentils, meat, vegetables, and alcoholic beverages. A large rooster is also sacrificed for the celebration.


What Are Their Beliefs?

A majority of the Thami practice ethnic religions and shamanism. They worship deities that are not in any of the major religions of the region. They tend to lean toward Buddhism but use many of the Hindu rituals in their marriage ceremonies. In sum, their religious beliefs do not fall into any neat category. There are some Christian believers among them, but the Thami sill lack a sustainable movement to Christ.


What Are Their Needs?

In order to rise above their current situation, the Thami people need better educational and job opportunities.


Prayer Points

Pray that the Lord of the harvest will thrust forth Holy Spirit anointed laborers into Thami communities.
Ask the Holy Spirit to stir up hunger within the hearts of the Thami to know the one true God.
Pray for an unstoppable Disciple Making Movement among the Thami people this decade.


Scripture Prayers for the Thami in India.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Thami
People Name in Country Thami
Pronunciation Tah-mee
Population this Country 2,700
Population all Countries 36,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Thangmi; थमी
People ID 15461
ROP3 Code 110002
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)
Total States on file 6
Largest States
Assam
1,900
Sikkim
700
West Bengal
20
Uttarakhand
20
Meghalaya
20
Madhya Pradesh
10
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
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)
Total States 6
  Assam 1,900
  Sikkim 700
  West Bengal 20
  Uttarakhand 20
  Meghalaya 20
  Madhya Pradesh 10
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Nepali (2,300 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Thangmi
100
Primary Language Nepali (2,300 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Thangmi 100
People Groups Speaking Nepali

Primary Language:  Nepali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1850-1961)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1821-2010)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1914-2012)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Nepali Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video New Way (Naya Goreto) Create International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version Super Bible / Comic Bible Society
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Nepali YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Children and youth resources One Hope
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
3.62 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
1.01 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
95.37 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more