Punjabi in Thailand

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The name "Punjabi" is used to describe both those who speak Punjabi and those who inhabit the Punjab region in India and Pakistan. Punjabi is an Indo-European language that is divided into six main dialects. Those in Thailand speak the Eastern Punjabi dialect.

The first Sikhs to arrive in Thailand did so in the 1880s. By 1911 there was an emerging Sikh community in Thailand. The next year they took steps to establish their first gurdwara, the Sikh place of worship.

Modern Punjabi culture was largely shaped by the partitioning of India and Pakistan in 1947. This event resulted in massive migrations that separated the Muslims from the Hindus and Sikhs. In general, the Muslim Punjabis live in Pakistan, while the Hindu or Sikhs are in India. One can also find Punjabi communities in nearly thirty other countries including Thailand. Sikhs now live in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Khon Kaen, Lampang, Korat, and Phuket.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today there are at least 20 gurdwaras in Thailand. Ironically, the Sikhs in Thailand often take on Thai names to blend in with the local people. Wherever they have gone, the resourceful Punjabis have made a place for themselves within the local communities. In Thailand, as in most countries where they have settled, Punjabi are employed in many different occupations. They excel as mechanics and work in construction. Others own businesses, large and small.

While the living conditions of the Punjabis differ greatly from country to country, they have retained much of their traditional culture and language. Though the language is still Punjabi, there are cultural differences between each of the three religious communities.

Among the diaspora Punjabis, newly married couples set up their homes wherever they choose. Parents arrange the marriages after extensive discussions.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Punjabis in Thailand are Sikhs. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that was founded in northern India during the sixteenth century. Its teachings have combined the elements of both Hinduism and Islam in an attempt to find one god who transcends all religious distinctions.

What Are Their Needs?

Though there is freedom of religion in Thailand and almost all Christian materials have been translated into Eastern Punjabi, we know of no Sikh background believers in Thailand. They need Holy Spirit driven workers to lovingly take Christ to the Sikh community.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Punjabi people in Thailand to have hearts that are open to the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.

Pray for their families to prosper financially and spiritually as they experience a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pray for a movement to Christ among the Punjabi people in Thailand that will spread joy, peace, and salvation.

Pray for the Punjabi culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Punjabi family and community leaders to seek his face and enjoy his blessings.

Scripture Prayers for the Punjabi in Thailand.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Punjabi
People Name in Country Punjabi
Pronunciation puhn-JAH-bee
Population this Country 64,000
Population all Countries 2,136,000
Total Countries 18
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Eastern Punjabi; Gurmukhi; Mirpur Punjabi; Panjabi; Sikh
People ID 14483
ROP3 Code 108182
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Thailand
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Punjabi
Dialect Code 761   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Punjabi
Dialect Code 761   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
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  (1818-2021)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, complete Bible
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Recorded oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Eyes of the Heart
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Punjabi, Eastern
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video Satsung of the Sadguru Jesus
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video Who Can Help You?
General Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links
General Zume Resources
General Zume Training
Primary Religion: Other / Small
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
6.00 %
3.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
91.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Photo Source Web Flippy - Pixabay  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more