Bania Srimali in India

Joshua Project has identified the Bania Srimali only in India
Population
388,000
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
People Name General Bania Srimali
People Name in Country Bania Srimali
Population in India 388,000
World Population 388,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 8 to 10
Progress Scale 1
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 15  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 16
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Gujarat
(256,000)
Maharashtra
(70,000)
Rajasthan
(31,000)
Madhya Pradesh
(19,000)
Delhi
(3,800)
Uttar Pradesh
(3,700)
Tamil Nadu
(900)
Uttarakhand
(500)
Daman and Diu
(400)
Odisha
(400)
Karnataka
(400)
Chhattisgarh
(400)
Dadra and Nagar Have
(300)
West Bengal
(300)
Jharkhand
(200)
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 15  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 16
  Gujarat (256,000)
  Maharashtra (70,000)
  Rajasthan (31,000)
  Madhya Pradesh (19,000)
  Delhi (3,800)
  Uttar Pradesh (3,700)
  Tamil Nadu (900)
  Uttarakhand (500)
  Daman and Diu (400)
  Odisha (400)
  Karnataka (400)
  Chhattisgarh (400)
  Dadra and Nagar Have (300)
  West Bengal (300)
  Jharkhand (200)
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Gujarati (232,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 18
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Hindi
(71,000)
Marathi
(31,000)
Marwari
(16,000)
Konkani
(4,700)
Dhundari
(4,000)
Kacchi
(2,000)
Merwari
(1,300)
Mewari
(1,300)
Nimadi
(800)
Malvi
(700)
Saurashtra
(500)
Shekhawati
(400)
Khandesi
(200)
Kanauji
(200)
Bagri
(100)
People Groups Speaking Gujarati
Primary Language Gujarati (232,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 18
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Hindi (71,000)
  Marathi (31,000)
  Marwari (16,000)
  Konkani (4,700)
  Dhundari (4,000)
  Kacchi (2,000)
  Merwari (1,300)
  Mewari (1,300)
  Nimadi (800)
  Malvi (700)
  Saurashtra (500)
  Shekhawati (400)
  Khandesi (200)
  Kanauji (200)
  Bagri (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
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go 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 Gods Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter Fathers Love Letter
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible (Bibles India)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
57.72 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
42.28 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2017  Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
Religion Values * From India census data.  Current values may differ.


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