Bania in Bhutan


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Banias originated over 5,000 years ago, and they are also called Vania or Mahajan. Their name is derived from Vaniji, which means "trader" in Sanskrit, an ancient South Asian language.

Of the four major Hindu varnas (caste clusters), Banias are in the third one, the Vaishyas. This caste cluster has always been about trade, business, and money lending. They were usually traders of grain and spices throughout history. Today Bania is a rather loose term, sometimes meaning caste and other times just business people.


Where Are they Located?

Banias originated in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. In today's world, many Banias are locating to other parts of the world like the West where they can be reached much more easily than they can in India. There is a small number of them residing in Bhutan, where there is a Tibetan Buddhist majority.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Members of the Bania caste are among the wealthiest people in the world. Today they are still involved with businesses and money lending. A Bania might be the proud owner of a giant business, a small one, or he might be working in a bank. He might even own the bank. Others work in government ministries or as lawyers, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers, or engineers.

They are often resented by other communities. As children, they are taught to never give; always bargain and make money. Business skills are passed down from father to son, and from an early age children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all Banias claim the Hindu religion, but as merchants they have chosen gods that reflect their profession. They worship the god of wealth, the god of good fortune and the god of money. These are the gods who drive their lives, gods that leave them with full wallets and empty hearts.


What Are Their Needs?

Banias need a spiritual transformation that will bring them to the point where they want to follow the ways of Jesus, and abandon the old ways that have left them spiritually empty and other castes economically devastated and resentful.


Prayer Points

* Pray that the veil of deception will be lifted from the eyes of the Banias in Bhutan and that they will see that the only true wealth is the spiritual riches gained through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
* Pray that Christ's disciples will be called to work among them and share Christ in a culturally relevant way.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Bania community.


References

http://www.peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/bania/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bania_(caste)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaishya
http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/LIA5OcknCv3zQw2hJi0GDN/The-peculiar-pedigree-of-the-business-class.html
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/16318/IN
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2008/08/08
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2007/09/16
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2009/08/25


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Bania
People Name in Country Bania
Population in Bhutan 4,100
World Population 29,525,100
Total Countries 6
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Aggarwal, Agrawal, Arayia Vaisya, Arya Vaisya, Arya Vysya, Balija, Bandekara, Banikya, Baniya, Baniyan, Baqal, Bhatia, Chetti, Chettiar, Gomatulu, Gujarati Vania, Gupta, Jain, Komati, Komti, Komuti, Kongu, Kshatriya, Kumti, Kumuti, Lalaji, Mahajan, Mahajan Vania, Marwadi, Mathura, Padayachi, Rajput, Sahukar, Sarak, Shetti, Shetty, Vaishya, Vaisiyal Chettiar, Vaisya, Vani, Vani Bania, Vania, Vysy, Vysya, बनिया
People ID 16318
ROP3 Code 111452
Country Bhutan
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 33  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 4
Largest States
Western
2,800
Eastern
800
Southern
400
Central
60
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Bhutan
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 33  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 4
  Western 2,800
  Eastern 800
  Southern 400
  Central 60
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Assamese
Language Code asm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Bengali English Hindi
Nepali Marwari
Other People Groups Speaking Assamese
Primary Language Assamese
Language Code asm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Bengali
  English
  Hindi
  Nepali
  Marwari
People Groups Speaking Assamese

Primary Language:  Assamese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1822-1974)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1819-1993)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1833-1995)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Christassam recordings
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Assamese
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Path of Light (Indigitube.tv)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible: অসমীয়া - Assamese
Text / Printed Matter Christ for the Nations
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Joshua Project 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest Bhutan census data.  Current values may differ.


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