Bania Srimali in India

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

Introduction / History

The Banias originated over 5,000 years ago, and they are also called Vania or Mahajan. Their name is derived from Vaniji, which means "trader" in Sanskrit, an ancient South Asian language.

Of the four major varnas (caste clusters), Banias are in the third one, the Vaishyas. This caste cluster has always been about trade, business, and money lending. They were usually traders of grain and spices throughout history.

Despite their high incomes, the Banias have only modest status in the Hindu caste pyramid. They resent the higher two varnas, the Brahmins and the Kshatryas, and thus Banias have often been leaders in caste reform movements. Mahatma Gandhi is one example, but there have been many others throughout India's long history.


Where Are they Located?

Banias originated in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Srimalis are one of the largest Bania community, and they live all over India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Members of the Bania caste are among the wealthiest people in India and even the world. Today they are still involved with businesses and money lending. A Bania might be the proud owner of a giant business, a small one, or he might be working in a bank. He might even own the bank. Others work in government ministries or as lawyers, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers, or engineers.

They are often resented by other castes, because they lend much needed money at high interest rates. A pre-literate farmer might take a loan from a Bania only to find that a high percentage of his harvest will be taken away as interest. Customers often must put their farms or their gold up for collateral in case they cannot pay back their loans.

The lessons such as "never give; always bargain and make money" are often learned at young ages by Bania children. Business skills are passed down from father to son, and from an early age children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions.


What Are Their Beliefs?

About half all Srimali Bania people claim the Hindu religion, but as merchants they have chosen gods that reflect their profession. They worship the god of wealth, the god of good fortune and the god of money. These are the gods who drive their lives, gods that leave them with empty hearts. Some are Jains, a Hindu offshoot religion.


What Are Their Needs?

Srimali Banias need a spiritual transformation that will bring them to the point where they want to follow the ways of Jesus, and abandon the old ways that have left them spiritually empty and other castes economically devastated and resentful.


Prayer Points

* Pray that the veil of deception will be lifted from the eyes of the Srimali Banias and that they will see that the only true wealth is the spiritual riches gained through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
* Pray that Christ's disciples will be called to work among them and share Christ in a culturally relevant way.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Bania community.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/19723/IN
http://indpaedia.com/ind/index.php/Bania:_Srimali
http://www.peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/bania/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bania_(caste)
http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/LIA5OcknCv3zQw2hJi0GDN/The-peculiar-pedigree-of-the-business-class.html
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/16318/IN
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2008/08/08
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2007/09/16
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2009/08/25


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-08-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2018-09-20
People Name General Bania Srimali
People Name in Country Bania Srimali
World Population 362,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 7
Alternate Names Seth, Srimali Vaisya, बनिया, सृिमाली
People ID 19723
ROP3 Code 115176
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 16
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Gujarat
242,000
Maharashtra
66,000
Rajasthan
28,000
Madhya Pradesh
16,000
Delhi
3,600
Uttar Pradesh
3,500
Tamil Nadu
900
Uttarakhand
500
Odisha
400
Daman and Diu
400
Karnataka
400
Chhattisgarh
400
Dadra and Nagar Have
300
Jharkhand
300
West Bengal
200
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 16
  Gujarat 242,000
  Maharashtra 66,000
  Rajasthan 28,000
  Madhya Pradesh 16,000
  Delhi 3,600
  Uttar Pradesh 3,500
  Tamil Nadu 900
  Uttarakhand 500
  Odisha 400
  Daman and Diu 400
  Karnataka 400
  Chhattisgarh 400
  Dadra and Nagar Have 300
  Jharkhand 300
  West Bengal 200
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Gujarati (231,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 18
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Hindi
70,000
Marathi
31,000
Marwari
16,000
Konkani
4,700
Dhundari
2,500
Kacchi
2,000
Mewari
1,400
Merwari
1,300
Nimadi
800
Malvi
500
Saurashtra
500
Shekhawati
400
Khandesi
200
Kanauji
200
Bhojpuri
100
Primary Language Gujarati (231,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 18
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Hindi 70,000
  Marathi 31,000
  Marwari 16,000
  Konkani 4,700
  Dhundari 2,500
  Kacchi 2,000
  Mewari 1,400
  Merwari 1,300
  Nimadi 800
  Malvi 500
  Saurashtra 500
  Shekhawati 400
  Khandesi 200
  Kanauji 200
  Bhojpuri 100
People Groups Speaking Gujarati

Primary Language:  Gujarati

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1809-1965)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1820-1985)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2005)
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 / Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Creation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Gujarati
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Bible Visuals
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible: ગુજરાતી - Gujarati
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter Father's Love Letter
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
58.37 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
41.63 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
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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