South Asians in Brunei

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The ancestors of the Indo-Pakistani in Brunei were originally migrant workers from the subcontinent of India. They came as laborers to work on the construction of buildings, roads, and bridges. The present generations of Indo-Pakistani are citizens of Brunei and have taken residency in the country. Since many peoples of Indian origin in Brunei do not know specifically which language group they belong to, Indo-Pakistani is a general term used by the government to describe these groups - they may actually be Tamil, Gujarati, Hindi, or Punjab. They speak Tamil as a common language as well as their vernacular languages and dialects.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Back in India the lives of Indo-Pakistani have traditionally been governed by a rigid system of social classes known as caste (pattern of social classes in Hinduism). One of the main reasons the Indo-Pakistani willingly left their homeland for Brunei was because of the caste system practiced in their country. Under that system, those who are born into the lower castes can never improve their standing in society. They are mostly Hindu Tamils from Southern India. In Islamic Brunei, they receive no special treatment and they do not enjoy the special privilege accorded to the Brunei Muslim Malay. Many laborers work in positions that are shunned by the Brunei Malay. A handful of them find employment as white-collar workers, holding jobs like clerks and hospital assistants.

Islamic influence is strong among the Indo-Pakistani in Brunei. This influence is seen in their clothing. Still, some of the Hindu Indo-Pakistani continue to wear saris (cloths that are wrapped around their waist and over the shoulder or head). Most of them also continue to eat their native Indian foods. Although the Hindu religion commands vegetarianism, most of the Indo-Pakistani living in this Islamic State eat some types of meat.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Indo-Pakistani are Hindus but close to half the population adhere to either the Islamic faith or Baha'is. A small percentage are Christians. Hindu Indo-Pakistani are polytheistic, which means that they worship many gods and goddesses. The most important gods worshipped are Brahman, the creator of the universe; Vishnu, its preserver; and Shiva, its destroyer.

Hindu tradition remains strong until today in Indo-Pakistani community of Brunei. The community celebrates the Deepavali or Diwali (Festival of Lights) - this celebration marks the triumph of good over evil, the victory of light over dark and it is not called the Festival of Lights for nothing, for it is celebrated with a joyful vivacity, with bright lights and even brighter smiles, as though to underline the traditional meaning and message behind it. Even the word Deepavali is etymologically derived from the Sanskrit word that literally means "row of lights".

What Are Their Needs?

The majority of the Indo-Pakistani in Brunei Darussalam have to settle for hard labor and low paying jobs. They do not enjoy the privileges of the Brunei Malay people. Pray that local believers will help the Indo-Pakistani in all their needs. Pray that culturally sensitive believers will find ways to minister among each of the Indo-Pakistani groups.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the South Asian, general in Brunei.

Profile Source:   Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General South Asian, general
People Name in Country South Asian, general
Natural Name South Asians
Population this Country 5,300
Population all Countries 12,253,000
Total Countries 59
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names
People ID 19211
ROP3 Code 115527
Country Brunei
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 39  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Brunei
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 39  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Primary Language Hindi (5,300 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Hindi (5,300 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1835-2012)
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 (GRN)
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Hindi
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (EngSub)
Film / Video Coconuts
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Father's Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 3.00 %)
14.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
43.00 %
20.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
23.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
45.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
5.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
40.0 %
Photo Source Pixabay  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Profile Source Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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