Introduction / History
Most of the Bantars live in the Terai region of Nepal. They also live in Chitwan and other regions of Nepal. They emigrated from some Indian regions. They are farmers and laborers. They have a low literacy level (the need for the gospel in oral form here). They are a male dominated society and are a Scheduled Caste. The Bantar are Hindus.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The women do the housework. If they do not give birth to a son when married, the husband can marry again. The daughters do the housework at an early age and go to work on farms as well. If a girl likes a boy she can marry by going to the house of the boy. This is called Ghardhuki Pratha. Usually there is agreement between the boy and girl and days later the close members get together, have a feast and there is a marriage ceremony. Rituals are performed and so they are accepted.
Usually Ghardhuki marriage is done by unmarried girls and widows. The girls are allowed to select their marriage partner. Discrimination among men and women is lessening. Child marriages do not happen much these days. Marriages away from their community are allowed but are not favored like arranged marriages are.
The Bantar being Hindus worship Hindu gods and goddesses and have their own traditional deities too. They worship nature like the sun and moon and have feasts and festivals. The Bantar when ill usually go to witch doctors.
When a death takes place it is believed in Hinduism that if the traditional rites and rituals are performed, the deceased person will go to heaven and so it is believed with the Bantars. Some Bantars bury their dead, while others burn the dead body in a pyre. When the body becomes ash, the people who are present are expected to bathe and go home offering firewood.
Most of the Bantars are black but some are olive colored too. They are medium in height. They are a peaceable people and are a long way off from modern society. They usually have houses with one floor and their houses are made of bamboo, wood, soil and jute straw. Title of tin is used to make the roof. They have a place in front of their homes for evening rest and to get the agricultural products ready. The Bantars sleep on the floors as they are clean and have much respect for guests.
* Pray that the Bantars and other Hindus discover that rites and rituals do not have to be performed for a person to go to heaven and that salvation is through Jesus Christ.