Dhimal in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Most Dhimal people live in mountainous nation of Nepal. Some also live in the Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar. The Dhimal are an indigenous people whose former lifestyle involved hunting and gathering in the forests of the Indian subcontinent. Today most Dhimal work as landless, agricultural laborers. Most Dhimal live in poverty with little hope for the future. Illiteracy is a major problem for the Dhimal, especially among women. As a tribal people, the Dhimal are outside of the Hindu caste system. Many Hindus therefore will not associate with them.

The main language of the Dhimal depends upon where they live. They speak Rangpuri, Maithili, Dhimal and Hindi.


Where Are they Located?

The Dhimal live in villages in northeast India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Indian government has curtailed Dhimal’s former livelihood of hunting and gathering. The Dhimal work long hours in fields owned by others. Besides working in the fields, Dhimal women weave baskets, mats and rugs for cash. If crops fail, the Dhimal face starvation. Dhimal children are often not welcomed at government schools so their cycle of poverty continues.
The main foods of the Dhimal are rice and grains. They are not vegetarians but as Hindus they will not consume beef. Meat is often reserved for special occasions.

The Dhimal marry within their group. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit what little property their father owns.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Dhimal consider themselves Hindus but orthodox Hindus think they are more animists than members of their religion. The Dhimal worship and serve Chaitanya and Nityananda, Hindu mystics of the 16th century, as their patron deities. The Dhimal also worship other deities like Buda Thakur, Sadi Buri, and Kali, the goddess of sex and destruction.

Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Dhimal visit their Hindu shrines and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
The main yearly holidays of the Dhimal people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.
There are a few hundred believers among the Dhimal.


What Are Their Needs?

The Dhimal have huge needs. They need help in educating their children and in learning new job skills. They need access to electricity, indoor plumbing and modern medicine. Most of all, the Dhimal need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ who alone can forgive their sins and give them hope.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Dhimal in India.

* Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Dhimal people in India teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Dhimal families into a rich experience of God’s blessing.
* Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Dhimal family leaders to experience God’s blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11544/IN
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11544/NP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A651NfhE1T0
https://www.academia.edu/33881375/The_Dhimals_A_Little_Known_Tribal_Group_of_Sub-Himalayan_West_Bengal_Historical_Perspectives
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhimal
https://www.peoplegroups.org/Explore/groupdetails.aspx?peid=41478


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Dhimal
People Name in Country Dhimal
World Population 31,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Agnia; Dhemal; Dhimar; Jharwa; Maulik; धिमल
People ID 11544
ROP3 Code 102575
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 2
Largest States
West Bengal
2,900
Bihar
1,900
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 2
  West Bengal 2,900
  Bihar 1,900
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Rangpuri (1,800 speakers)
Language Code rkt   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Maithili
1,600
Dhimal
800
Hindi
600
Primary Language Rangpuri (1,800 speakers)
Language Code rkt   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Maithili 1,600
  Dhimal 800
  Hindi 600
People Groups Speaking Rangpuri

Primary Language:  Rangpuri

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2008-2011)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Virtual Storehouse
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Rangpuri
General Gospel website in this language
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
88.26 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
2.00 %
Unknown
9.75 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2020  International Mission Board-SBC  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

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