Wattal (Hindu traditions) in India

The Wattal (Hindu traditions) have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Wattal are also called Batal, Tattal and Batul, though they consider these names to be pejorative. They prefer to be called Ganai, Seraj or Sheikh. They are often sweepers, which gives them low status. Their appearance is like that of the Gypsies, which makes them stand out as lower status. They are forced to live at the edge of the village, away from others.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The low status of this small community means they have fewer marital options. Other Hindu communities do not want to intermarry with them as a matter of honor. The Wattal feel isolated and rejected.

Young men are becoming more independent from their parents. For this reason, they insist on having a say in whom they marry. Young women are also reluctant to marry unless they know something about their potential husband. It is becoming more common for couples to meet on the sly before marriage.

Within a nuclear family, sons inherit 2/3 of the property while daughters get 1/3. This is not distributed until the father has died.

Their diet is good. Like most peoples in India, they have a grain-based diet, but they also enjoy meat, so long as it’s not beef. Kashmir is home to excellent cherry, apple and pear orchards. They enjoy these fruits along with green vegetables and rice.

Though many are sweepers, they often use their young sons as shoe-shine boys. These boys earn much money for the family during the tourist season. Some Wattal people repair shoes at a cobbler shop.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Wattal people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.

Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.


What Are Their Needs?

These people need to put their hope and identity in the King of kings and Lord of lords.


Prayer Points

Pray for workers to go to the Wattal people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their Savior.

Pray for families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.

Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.

Pray for grace and truth expanding into their entire society as all believers learn to love others.


Scripture Prayers for the Wattal (Hindu traditions) in India.


References

People of India, Vol 25. K.S. Singh. 2003


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Wattal (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Wattal (Hindu traditions)
Alternate Names वत्तल (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
Population this Country 1,800
Population all Countries 1,800
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 16959
ROP3 Code 112263
ROP25 Code 308755
ROP25 Name Wattal
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
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 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Jammu and Kashmir 1,800
Website South Asia Peoples
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 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Kashmiri (1,200 speakers)
Language Code kas   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Hindi
100
Khah
70
Dogri
70
Primary Language Kashmiri (1,200 speakers)
Language Code kas   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Hindi 100
  Khah 70
  Dogri 70
People Groups Speaking Kashmiri
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. Learn more.



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