Chamar (Sikh traditions) in India

The Chamar (Sikh traditions) have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Subgroups: 41 (10 largest shown)  Show all

Subgroup Name Population
Agria Unknown
Ahir Unknown
Ahirware Unknown
Antarvedi Unknown
Asadaru Unknown
Bade Unknown
Bagri Unknown
Bhambi Unknown
Bokaria Unknown
Bona Unknown

Introduction / History

The Sikh Chamar are Hindus who converted to Sikhism under the teaching of the Ten Gurus who lived from 1469 to 1708. Sikhism teaches that there is no caste system. All men and women are equal in God's eyes. Many of the Hindus who became Sikhs were from a low caste. The original occupation of the Chamar was that of leather worker, a job despised by upper caste Hindus. Later, many Chamar became weavers and landless agricultural workers.

The Sikh Chamar prospered by joining the army during the British colonial period. The Sikh soldiers raised their economic and social status. They became educated and bought land. During WW1 and WW2 many Sikhs fought in the armies of the British Empire. During WW2, Sikh soldiers were instrumental in turning back the invasion of India by the Japanese at the Battle of Kohima.

The two primary languages of the Chamar Sikhs are eastern Punjabi and Hindi. They also speak other regional Indian languages.


Where Are they Located?

The vast majority of the Chamar Sikhs live in the north central Indian state of Punjab. Smaller numbers live in Uttar Pradesh and other regions of India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Sikh Chamar live diverse lives. Educated Sikhs enjoy middle to upper class positions in Indian cities. Uneducated Sikh Chamar still live in rural villages much like their ancestors.

A Sikh Chamar can marry any other Sikh since one of the basic tenets of Sikhism is rejected of the caste system. Sikhs are monogamous, that is they marry only one spouse. Any male or female Sikh who has undergone the Amrit initiation or baptism can perform their marriages. Child marriage is forbidden. A newly born baby is taken to a Gurdwara or Sikh place of worship for naming. Each Sikh boy is given the name of Singh or lion while the girl receives the name Kaur or princess.

By giving each Sikh the same last name, the 10 Gurus wanted to eliminate the caste system, which is often revealed on one's last name.

The Sikh Chamar are not vegetarians. However, they do not eat pork. Their main foods are rice, other grains, vegetables and fruit.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The first leader of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539), taught the equality of all humans and against the caste system. He traveled throughout India to spread his message of one God. He spoke against tyranny, empty rituals and superstition. The nine other Gurus of Sikhism proclaimed the same beliefs. The holy book of the Sikhs is called the Guru Granth Sahib. It is composed of 5867 hymns written by the Ten Gurus. The Sikhs were persecuted by the Muslim Mughals and frequently unite politically with Hindus against Muslims.


What Are Their Needs?

The Sikh Chamar need to hear the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of their position in Indian society. They need to see that their good works will not save them from the wrath of the Holy God of Scripture. They must see that Jesus in the only Savior.


Prayer Points

Pray for Christian workers needed to sow God's Word into Sikh Chamar families, healing and strengthening households with God's blessings.
Pray for movements to Jesus to sweep through Sikh families, permeating the group from within.
Ask God to deliver families and communities within the Sikh Chamar people from fears that hinder them from embracing His blessings.


Scripture Prayers for the Chamar (Sikh traditions) in India.


References

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamar
sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Chamar
sikhismguide.org/gurus.php


Profile Source:   David Kugel  

People Name General Chamar (Sikh traditions)
People Name in Country Chamar (Sikh traditions)
Pronunciation chah-MAR
Alternate Names Arya; Bhambi; Chaudhari; Golia Raigar; Jatav; Jatia; Mehtar; Mochi; Ramdasi; Ramdasia; Ravidas; चामर (सिख ट्रेडिशन्स)
Population this Country 1,884,000
Population all Countries 1,884,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 38
People ID 18060
ROP3 Code 113559
ROP25 Code 301655
ROP25 Name Chamar
Country India
Region Asia, South
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 20
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Punjab
1,727,000
Haryana
42,000
Uttar Pradesh
27,000
Delhi
20,000
Rajasthan
18,000
Chandigarh
17,000
Chhattisgarh
4,200
Himachal Pradesh
3,600
Jammu and Kashmir
2,400
Madhya Pradesh
2,200
Uttarakhand
1,500
Maharashtra
1,000
Telangana
500
Jharkhand
500
West Bengal
400
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 20
  Punjab 1,727,000
  Haryana 42,000
  Uttar Pradesh 27,000
  Delhi 20,000
  Rajasthan 18,000
  Chandigarh 17,000
  Chhattisgarh 4,200
  Himachal Pradesh 3,600
  Jammu and Kashmir 2,400
  Madhya Pradesh 2,200
  Uttarakhand 1,500
  Maharashtra 1,000
  Telangana 500
  Jharkhand 500
  West Bengal 400
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Other / Small
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.53 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
99.47 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern (1,272,000 speakers)
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 38
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Hindi
268,000
Bagri
12,000
Haryanvi
5,200
Marwari (India)
2,000
Dhundari
1,900
Bhojpuri
1,800
Awadhi
1,100
Kangri
900
Chambeali
800
Kanauji
800
Chhattisgarhi
800
Dogri
400
Mewari
400
Garhwali
300
Marathi
300
Primary Language Punjabi, Eastern (1,272,000 speakers)
Language Code pan   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 38
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Hindi 268,000
  Bagri 12,000
  Haryanvi 5,200
  Marwari (India) 2,000
  Dhundari 1,900
  Bhojpuri 1,800
  Awadhi 1,100
  Kangri 900
  Chambeali 800
  Kanauji 800
  Chhattisgarhi 800
  Dogri 400
  Mewari 400
  Garhwali 300
  Marathi 300
People Groups Speaking Punjabi, Eastern

Primary Language:  Punjabi, Eastern

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Bible-New Testament Yes  (1815-2011)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1959-2021)
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Photo Source Balhar Singh 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source David Kugel 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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