Chamar (Sikh traditions) in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Subgroups: 5

Subgroup Name Population
Buna 14,000
Chamarwa 14,000
Bona 8,300
Desi 8,300
Bagri 8,200

Introduction / History

The Sikh Chamar are Hindus who converted to Sikhism under the teaching of the Ten Gurus who lived from 1469 to 1708. Sikhism teaches that there is no caste system. All men and women are equal in God's eyes. Many of the Hindus who became Sikhs were from the Dalit or Untouchable caste. The original occupation of the Chamar was that of leather worker, a job despised by upper caste Hindus. Later, many Chamar became weavers and landless agricultural workers.

The Sikh Chamar prospered by joining the army during the British colonial period. The Sikh soldiers raised their economic and social status. They became educated and bought land. During WW1 and WW2 many Sikhs fought in the armies of the British Empire. During WW2, Sikh soldiers were instrumental in turning back the invasion of India by the Japanese at the Battle of Kohima.

The two primary languages of the Chamar Sikhs are eastern Punjabi and Hindi. They also speak other regional Indian languages.


Where Are they Located?

The vast majority of the Chamar Sikhs live in the north central Indian state of Punjab. Smaller numbers live in Uttar Pradesh and other regions of India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Sikh Chamar live diverse lives. Educated Sikhs enjoy middle to upper class positions in Indian cities. Uneducated Sikh Chamar still live in rural villages much like their ancestors.

A Sikh Chamar can marry any other Sikh since one of the basic tenets of Sikhism is rejected of the caste system. Sikhs are monogamous, that is they marry only one spouse. Any male or female Sikh who has undergone the Amrit initiation or baptism can perform their marriages. Child marriage is forbidden. A newly born baby is taken to a Gurdwara or Sikh place of worship for naming. Each Sikh boy is given the name of Singh or lion while the girl receives the name Kaur or princess.

By giving each Sikh the same last name, the 10 Gurus wanted to eliminate the caste system, which is often revealed on one's last name.

The Sikh Chamar are not vegetarians. However, they do not eat pork. Their main foods are rice, other grains, vegetables and fruit.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Sikhism is an offshoot of Hinduism. The first leader of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539), taught the equality of all humans and against the caste system. He traveled throughout India to spread his message of one God. He spoke against tyranny, empty rituals and superstition. The nine other Gurus of Sikhism proclaimed the same beliefs. The holy book of the Sikhs is called the Guru Granth Sahib. It is composed of 5867 hymns written by the Ten Gurus. The Sikhs were persecuted by the Muslim Mughals and frequently unite politically with Hindus against Muslims.


What Are Their Needs?

The Sikh Chamar, like all other non Christians, need to hear the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of their position in Indian society. They need to see that their good works will not save them from the wrath of the Holy God of Scripture. They must see that Jesus in the only Savior.


Prayer Points

* Pray for Christian workers needed to sow God's Word into Sikh Chamar families, healing and strengthening households with God's blessings.
* Pray for movements to Jesus to sweep through Sikh families, permeating the group from within.
* Ask God to deliver families and communities within the Sikh Chamar people from fears that hinder them from embracing His blessings.


References

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamar
sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Chamar
sikhismguide.org/gurus.php


Profile Source:   David Kugel  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-10-01
People Name General Chamar (Sikh traditions)
People Name in Country Chamar (Sikh traditions)
Population in India 1,337,000
World Population 1,337,900
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 27
Alternate Names Arya, Bhambi, Chaudhari, Golia Raigar, Jatav, Jatia, Mehtar, Mochi, Ramdasi, Ramdasia, Ravidas, चामर (सिख ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 18060
ROP3 Code 113559
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 15
Largest States
Punjab
1,256,000
Uttar Pradesh
26,000
Chandigarh
17,000
Rajasthan
9,800
Chhattisgarh
8,900
Telangana
6,100
Delhi
3,900
Himachal Pradesh
3,200
Jammu and Kashmir
2,000
Madhya Pradesh
1,900
Uttarakhand
1,000
Jharkhand
600
West Bengal
500
Gujarat
100
Andhra Pradesh
100
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 15
  Punjab 1,256,000
  Uttar Pradesh 26,000
  Chandigarh 17,000
  Rajasthan 9,800
  Chhattisgarh 8,900
  Telangana 6,100
  Delhi 3,900
  Himachal Pradesh 3,200
  Jammu and Kashmir 2,000
  Madhya Pradesh 1,900
  Uttarakhand 1,000
  Jharkhand 600
  West Bengal 500
  Gujarat 100
  Andhra Pradesh 100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern (862,000 speakers)
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 33
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Hindi
429,000
Bagri
24,000
Chhattisgarhi
5,400
Telugu
3,900
Bhojpuri
2,800
Marwari
1,900
Dhundari
1,400
Haryanvi
1,200
Awadhi
1,000
Kanauji
1,000
Kangri
1,000
Chambeali
900
Dogri
700
Bilaspuri
500
Shekhawati
400
Other People Groups Speaking Punjabi, Eastern
Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern (862,000 speakers)
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 33
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Hindi 429,000
  Bagri 24,000
  Chhattisgarhi 5,400
  Telugu 3,900
  Bhojpuri 2,800
  Marwari 1,900
  Dhundari 1,400
  Haryanvi 1,200
  Awadhi 1,000
  Kanauji 1,000
  Kangri 1,000
  Chambeali 900
  Dogri 700
  Bilaspuri 500
  Shekhawati 400
People Groups Speaking Punjabi, Eastern

Primary Language:  Punjabi, Eastern

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1818-1954)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1815-2011)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1959-2002)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Eyes of the Heart (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Punjabi, Eastern
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Sikh Contextual Gathering (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Sikh Punjabi Music Video (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible: ਪੰਜਾਬੀ - Panjabi
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible (Bibles India)
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Other / Small
Religion Subdivision: Sikhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
1.03 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.02 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
98.95 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Balhar Singh 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source David Kugel  
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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