Mech in Nepal


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

Introduction / History

Centuries ago, the sub-Himalayan regions of Assam and Bengal were settled by Bodo-Kachari peoples who migrated into the area. The story goes that, during the migration, they split, marching in two directions: One along the river Brahmaputra to Assam (under the name of Bodo or Boro), the other to the West along the Himalayan foothills to the river Mechi, the border between India and Nepal. This second group settled on the northern, Nepalese side of the river, later expanding eastward into Darjeeling, Baikanthpur, and even Dooars. Today, these peoples are known as Mech.
The Mech have not always been Hindu, but while living under Brahmin influence, the Mech embraced the religion and took Hindu surnames for themselves. Although they have mixed with other peoples, they have retained traditional social class divisions, or septs. These include classes of priests, warriors, and farmers. The divisions are not to be mistaken for castes, as there is no prohibition against intermarriage or eating together.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Mech are very hospitable, friendly people, known for being amiable, intelligent, and honest. Although they have an ancient history of being headhunters, they are free from arrogance, revenge, and cruelty. The Mech marry within their own tribe and between any of their septs. Women are forbidden to engage in any premarital sexual activity, and any sexual offenses are heavily punished. Husbands generally have great respect for their wives, who have absolute control over the household affairs and are consulted in all family and social matters. Most households consist of extended families, as the sons bring their wives home after marriage. Fathers are responsible for training their sons in economic skills, and mothers train their daughters in household duties.
In the early 1900s, the Mech were nomadic people, practicing slash and burn agriculture. There were few people and much land; thus, this type of erratic agriculture did not affect the country as much as it would today. However, as the populations grew, they settled into permanent farmers, using bulls and plows in their cultivation of the soil. Rice has been their principal cash crop, but they are also experts in growing the areca nut and betel leaves, two powerful stimulants. They grow maize as an additional food supplement.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mech religious beliefs are a blend of animism (belief that non-human objects have spirits) and Hinduism. Like many tribes, their idea of gods developed from the concept of "dynamism" or "power." Anything that appeared to possess superhuman power was regarded as an object of worship. The Mech worshipped-and still worship-the rivers, forests, celestial bodies, snakes, and certain plants. Tree-worship is an important custom, for every tree is a symbol of life. The Mech believe that trees have souls like their own and that the tree-soul is capable of being transferred to humans and animals. The great god of the Mech-the Bathou (the Euphorbia plant)-is worshipped in every Mech household. Most of the ancient Mech gods now have Vedic (Hindu) names but have retained their old, animistic qualities.
The Mech have a close affinity with the earth, referring to it as the "human mother." They don't believe harvests can be fruitful without first worshiping the Great Mother through the offering of animal sacrifice and performance of ritual dance.
Except for the use of lumps of dirt in the worship of the earth, the Mech traditionally had no physical idols. However, the Hindu cultural influence has led them to use idols.


What Are Their Needs?

As in most animistic cultures, the Mech live in fear of the spirits of nature. They believe they must appease these spirits to have peace or success in life, but no one is sure when the spirits need to be appeased. The Mech need liberation from such oppressive beliefs. Their culture is also in great economic transition. A large percentage of Mech have encumbered unmanageable debt and may face lives of poverty in the future.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Mech in Nepal.

Pray for the Lord to work among the Mech people to free them from fear and spiritual death.
Pray for the Lord to somehow get through to Mech elders so they can open the door to allow the King of kings to enter their lives.
There are believers among some of the Mech people in Nepal but not Bangladesh. Pray they will take Christ to the others.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Mech people.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Mech
People Name in Country Mech
Population this Country 4,800
Population all Countries 61,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Bodo Kacari; Boro; Kachari; Kachari Mech; Mec; Meche; मेच
People ID 17526
ROP3 Code 112946
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 34  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Jhapa District of Mechi Zone.   Source:  www.ethnologue.com
Total States on file 7
Largest States
Mechi
4,000
Kosi
300
Sagarmatha
200
Janakpur
100
Seti
100
Bagmati
30
Lumbini
10
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 34  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Jhapa District of Mechi Zone..   Source:  www.ethnologue.com
Total States 7
  Mechi 4,000
  Kosi 300
  Sagarmatha 200
  Janakpur 100
  Seti 100
  Bagmati 30
  Lumbini 10
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Boro (4,300 speakers)
Language Code brx   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Rangpuri
300
Nepali
100
Assamese
80
Maithili
80
Rawat
Primary Language Boro (4,300 speakers)
Language Code brx   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Rangpuri 300
  Nepali 100
  Assamese 80
  Maithili 80
  Rawat 0
People Groups Speaking Boro

Primary Language:  Boro

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1906-1961)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1938-1991)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1981)
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bodo
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
General Gospel website in this language
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
1.72 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.81 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.87 %
Unknown
0.61 %
* From latest Nepal census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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