Bhotia Tibetan in India

The Bhotia Tibetan have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Subgroups: 14 (10 largest shown)  Show all

Subgroup Name Population
Beb tsen gye 4,400
Tonda rus-shi 4,400
Amdo Unknown
Byansi Unknown
Chaudas Unknown
Darmi Unknown
Denjongpa Unknown
Jad Unknown
Jethora Unknown
Johari Unknown

Identity

Approximately 30,000 Sikkimese people inhabit all four districts of Sikkim, but they are concentrated in North Sikkim District near the Chinese border. 'They live in hilly terrain, of high altitude and cold climate, where there is high rainfall with medium snowfall and high humidity with dense forests.' A migrant community of Sikkimese has moved down into the Darjeeling District of West Bengal. The 1981 census in India returned 22 Sikkimese Bhotia people living in Tripura State.

The Sikkimese are among the most complicated Buddhist groups profiled in this book. The Indian government has granted 'Scheduled Tribe' status to the 'Bhotia' tribe, but this is 'a generic term for several groups of people inhabiting the ranges along the snowy peaks of the Himalayas'.


History

The term Bhotia comes from Bhot, or Bod, the traditional name for people of Tibetan origin. The groups combined by the Indian authorities include many different ethnicities and languages, ranging from Jammu and Kashmir in north-west India all the way across to Arunachal Pradesh in north-east India. In what follows here we are referring to people in the state of Sikkim who now have a sense of common identity and who speak the Sikkimese language. These groups include 'the Chumipa (people from the Chumbi valley), Dhopthapa (inhabitants of Dhopta), Trompa or Do-mu-pa (inhabitants of Do-mu), Lachengpa (people of Lacheng valley) and Lachungpa (people of Lachung valley)'. The Drukpa (people who originated in Bhutan) living in Sikkim are often considered part of this group, but we have profiled the Drukpa separately in this book. The various ethnic segments of the Sikkimese migrated into the state at various times throughout history, including a recent influx of refugees from Tibet since the Chinese occupation in the 1950s. People from all different communities come together to celebrate Buddhist festivals and holidays, which creates good unity and relationships between them.

The Sikkimese language is part of the Tibeto-Burman family. It shares 65 per cent lexical similarity with Dzongkha of Bhutan and just 42 per cent with Tibetan.


Religion

Being of Tibetan origin, it is not surprising that the Sikkimese people strongly believe in Tibetan Buddhism. The 1981 census returned 98.21 per cent of Sikkimese Bhotia as followers of Buddhism, 1.42 per cent as Hindus, 0.34 per cent as Christians and the rest as Muslims.


Christianity

Today approximately 200 Sikkimese have believed in Jesus Christ—just 0.7 per cent of their population. About 100 Sikkimese Christians live inside Sikkim, while others live in the heavily-evangelized Darjeeling area in West Bengal. Some of those who have decided to follow Christ have been excommunicated from their villages. One source states, 'The Sikkimese Bhotia have portions of the Bible available in their own language, and there are eight missions agencies currently targeting them. Intercession and increased missions efforts are still needed. The small number of believers (about 1 per cent) need discipleship materials to encourage and strengthen them in their Christian walk.'


Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Bhotia Tibetan
People Name in Country Bhotia Tibetan
Population in India 3,600
World Population 3,600
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Bhotia of Tibet, भोटिया, बुद्धिस्ट टिबेटन
People ID 16451
ROP3 Code 111612
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibetan
People Group Bhotia Tibetan
Ethnic Code MSY50r
Total Subgroups 14
  Beb tsen gye 4,400
  Tonda rus-shi 4,400
  Amdo 0
  Byansi 0
  Chaudas 0
  Darmi 0
  Denjongpa 0
  Jad 0
  Jethora 0
  Johari 0
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 5
Largest States
Assam
3,100
Mizoram
200
Nagaland
200
Meghalaya
90
West Bengal
30
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 5
  Assam 3,100
  Mizoram 200
  Nagaland 200
  Meghalaya 90
  West Bengal 30
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Sikkimese (3,000 speakers)
Language Code sip   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Tibetan, Central
500
Bengali
200
Other People Groups Speaking Sikkimese
Primary Language Sikkimese (3,000 speakers)
Language Code sip   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Tibetan, Central 500
  Bengali 200
People Groups Speaking Sikkimese

Primary Language:  Sikkimese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions No
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Create International  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.


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