Teli (Hindu traditions) in Bangladesh


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.

Subgroups: 1

Subgroup Name Population
Kalu কালু 26,000

Introduction / History

Within the caste system there are numerous communities which have a given task to benefit others. The Teli community is one of these. Their name came from the Sanskrit word talika or taila, referring to oil extracted from sesame and mustard. Lord Shiva, a key Hindu god, is central in their creation myth. Shiva created them to destroy five demons. However, their legend also says that the first Teli was created by Shiva to rub him with oil. Telis were traditionally considered one of the Vaisya, or trading communities. That put them as part of the third highest of four caste clusters.


Where Are they Located?

Most Teli people live throughout India. A smaller number live in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka or Pakistan.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Teli community once did the labor-intensive job of pressing and extracting oil, but now that job is done by mechanical means. For this reason, they have mainly resorted to farming or animal husbandry. A good many of these are landless, and some have applied to be considered "other backward castes" so they can receive special treatment from the Indian government. A smaller number of them are businessmen or hotel managers, metal workers, cart pullers, or common laborers. Many work in government jobs, and they are active in politics. The Teli people are endogamous, meaning that they only marry within their own community. Family heads and elders arrange their marriages, and they pay the dowry with cash and valuable goods. In today's world, Teli people live mainly in nuclear families. Like all other South Asian communities, women have lower status and power than men; however, women take a leading role in social and religious activities. Women also help with the family income through embroidery and other money-making activities.


The perception of Christianity as an invading influence that breaks up families and promotes many social problems is a serious obstacle to Teli families and communities humbly accepting God's blessing for their families.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Teli are mainly Hindus who have special celebrations at weddings and the birth of a child. They cremate the dead, and scatter the ashes in a river, preferably the Ganges, a river that Hindus consider to be holy. They worship their ancestors and seek protection from evil spirits. This people group is pragmatic in their spiritual practices. They worship a "wish-fulfilling goddess" whom they hope will answer their prayers.


What Are Their Needs?

The Teli people are not usually poor, but they need better access to higher education and good job opportunities. They also need access to meeting the Risen Christ and the opportunity to follow him.


Prayer Points

Pray that the Teli people will develop a hunger for the true God. Pray that believers will reach out to this people with the blessings of Christ. Pray that soon the oil of the Holy Spirit would anoint Teli community leaders and lead them to throw open the doors for their people to follow Jesus. Pray for the Lord to raise up Teli believers who will disciple others and begin the process of starting a disciple making movement among this people group.


Scripture Prayers for the Teli (Hindu traditions) in Bangladesh.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Teli (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Teli (Hindu traditions)
Pronunciation TEL-ee
Alternate Names Badbaik; Balu; Devi-Telikula; Gachhi; Gandla; Ganiga; Ganigaru; Ganita; Goundla; Gunigan; Gunija; Hansari; Harsolia; Kalu; Kanala; Malik; Maliks; Modh Ganchi; Murmi; Rathor; Sahu; Sahu Samaj; Somakshatriya; Taili; Tailik; Teli Telukula; Telikula; Telipal; Telwain; Tili; Tilwan; Vaniyan; टेली (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
Population this Country 159,000
Population all Countries 23,334,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 3
People ID 18229
ROP3 Code 113757
ROP25 Code 308049
ROP25 Name Teli
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 7
Largest States
Dhaka
57,000
Sylhet
48,000
Chittagong
17,000
Khulna
15,000
Barisal
8,300
Rangpur
7,600
Rajshahi
4,800
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 7
  Dhaka 57,000
  Sylhet 48,000
  Chittagong 17,000
  Khulna 15,000
  Barisal 8,300
  Rangpur 7,600
  Rajshahi 4,800
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 Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Bengali (114,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Sylheti
39,000
Chittagonian
3,200
Bishnupuriya
1,500
Assamese
700
Kok Borok
200
Primary Language Bengali (114,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Sylheti 39,000
  Chittagonian 3,200
  Bishnupuriya 1,500
  Assamese 700
  Kok Borok 200
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1809-2022)
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Amazon
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Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali Jesus Film Project
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Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
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General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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