Gara 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

Few sources have ever mentioned the Gara as a distinct ethnicity— making it even more surprising that the Indian authorities have granted them official status. Those few sources that do mention the Gara usually list them as a sub-group of the Ladakhi. While it is true that much of their culture mirrors Ladakhi culture, there are significant social differences between the two peoples. The main difference is a linguistic one. The Gara speak an Indo- European language, totally distinct from the Tibeto-Burman Ladakhi.

The Gara people live in Jammu & Kashmir and northern Himachal Pradesh.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Gara people serve the Ladakhi as blacksmiths. They supply the Ladakhi with iron implements. In return, they usually receive a fixed amount of grain as payment.

Traditionally there was a clear distinction between the Ladakhi and smaller servant groups in the area such as the Gara. K S Singh notes, “The Ladakhis traditionally did not participate in the marriage and death rituals of the Gara, Mon and Beda. Secular attitudes have brought neighboring communities closer to each other socially.” Today, even though the Gara live in ethnically mixed communities, the Ladakhi consider the Gara the lowest social class. The Gara are still not allowed to hold any position in the village or monastery administration.

Throughout the year the Gara youth hold ceremonies that help them find a spouse. Young women wear their best traditional clothing to these ceremonies, as a display of their needlework goes a long way to attracting a prospective suitor. Marriages are arranged “through negotiation, elopement, exchange, courtship, etc.... Bride price is paid both in cash and kind. The reasons for seeking divorce are adultery, barrenness, maladjustment, impotency, cruelty, and inability to meet the wife's expenses, and remarriage is permissible.”


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Gara families follow Tibetan Buddhism, while a few are Hindus, especially among the Gara in Himachal Pradesh. One source notes, “They observe all the Buddhist festivals and celebrate Losae and Budh-Purnima.” Bon, the pre-Buddhist religion, is obvious in their rituals and ceremonies Gara. Bon is basically a belief in spirit worship and demonism. They call upon powerful demonic forces for assistance and protection. Shamans wear gruesome masks, and occasionally the lamas go into a demonic trance during which they predict the future and give guidance to the community.


What Are Their Needs?

The Gara people need to put their trust and identity in the hands of the loving God of Creation who sent his son to make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom of God.


Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.

Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.

Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.

Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.


Scripture Prayers for the Gara in India.


References

Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-09-08
People Name General Gara
People Name in Country Gara
Population this Country 900
Population all Countries 2,100
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Domba; Garba; Garra; Zoba; गर्अ
People ID 16803
ROP3 Code 112066
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 Approximately 1,000 people belonging to the Gara ethnic group live in the Leh and Kargil districts of the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Ladakh
500
Himachal Pradesh
300
Jammu and Kashmir
100
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)
Location in Country Approximately 1,000 people belonging to the Gara ethnic group live in the Leh and Kargil districts of the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States 3
  Ladakh 500
  Himachal Pradesh 300
  Jammu and Kashmir 100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Lohar, Lahul (700 speakers)
Language Code lhl   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Zangskari
80
Primary Language Lohar, Lahul (700 speakers)
Language Code lhl   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Zangskari 80
People Groups Speaking Lohar, Lahul

Primary Language:  Lohar, Lahul

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
60.14 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
1.50 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
17.41 %
Islam
20.68 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.14 %
Unknown
0.14 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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