Tharu Rana 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

The Tharu people live in the Tarai, a narrow strip of land which extends across 550 miles of the southern border of Nepal, next to northeast India. The land is forested and fertile. The Tharu people are divided into several subgroups; the Rana Tharu live in the southwestern corner of Nepal. Ethnically, their background is Rajput, members of a high caste in Rajasthan. Legend has it that after the Moguls invaded India in the 16th century, a Mogul king wanted to marry one of their women. The women and children fled east and settled in this forested region while their men stayed behind to fight the Moguls. When the women heard that all their men had been killed, they married the slaves who had attended them in their travels, and settled permanently in their new home. The forests of the Tarai are full of tigers and snakes and malarial swamps. The swamps kept outsiders away, and the Rana Tharu developed resistance to the malaria. Over the next four centuries their own unique culture and language emerged.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Rana Tharu have lived quiet, simple lives for four centuries. They are a gentle people. They live in villages in houses plastered inside and out with mud and cow dung, so fine it feels like silky skin. They make almost everything they use themselves, with a touch of art in everything. Their walls are decorated with relief plaster sculpture and windows in geometric patterns. Their houses are large and communal; a family group lives together, and the women cook together, care jointly for their children and pass on their culture and traditions to the next generation. Their clothes are colorful and beautifully embroidered; they buy scraps of left-over fabric from the fabric merchant and each woman puts her own dress together in a unique and gorgeous fashion. They wear beautiful jewelry. They make their own clay pots cook stoves, woven baskets and fishing nets that look like butterfly wings. Rice is their staple crop; they also grow corn. The men plow, plant and weave the nets that the women use to fish. They also hunt in the forest that is the backdrop to their neat fields and villages. The women plaster their houses and make the pots and baskets.


What Are Their Beliefs?

They have their own gods and follow a Bharra (shaman). Their religion is animist. Besides the Bharra, who treats their diseases, the village headman, bhalamansa, and the Desi-Mahajan - an Indian moneylender, are important people within the village.


What Are Their Needs?

Foreigners brought DDT in the 1950s and sprayed the swamps to get rid of the mosquitoes. Ironically, with the malarial pests gone, the culture has come under increasing pressure from the outside. Unscrupulous moneylenders have been able to get control of their land because of their illiteracy, and now many have to pay rent for land that they once owned. People from the hill country to the north are moving in and cutting down the protective forests. The large animals, the tigers and elephants, are becoming increasingly scarce. There is increasing pressure to speak Nepali instead of Rana Tharu, and many of the children and men are wearing more western dress. Even their houses are beginning to change, and brick houses are starting to be built. They are becoming more aware of outside issues and fireside chat in the evenings is becoming more outward focused, reflecting these changes. Their traditional houses have no doors, but the new ones do. This is symbolic of the whole pressure to change coming to bear on these people. New schools are coming to the villages, but the classes are taught in Nepali rather than Rana Tharu, and the parents are afraid their children will lose their language and culture. Similarly, more and more people are adopting the Hindu religion rather than their native animist beliefs.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Tharu Rana in India.

* Pray for missionaries who know or are willing to learn their language to come to these people with the gospel.
* Pray for their rich culture to be preserved.
* Pray for good medical care.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Tharu Rana
People Name in Country Tharu Rana
World Population 210,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Rana; तरू राणा
People ID 21355
ROP3 Code 118179
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
Uttar Pradesh
7,600
Uttarakhand
4,700
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
  Uttar Pradesh 7,600
  Uttarakhand 4,700
Website South Asia Peoples

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.


Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Tharu, Rana (7,000 speakers)
Language Code thr   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Kumaoni
2,900
Hindi
2,400
Buksa
300
Nepali
100
Odia
80
Primary Language Tharu, Rana (7,000 speakers)
Language Code thr   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Kumaoni 2,900
  Hindi 2,400
  Buksa 300
  Nepali 100
  Odia 80
People Groups Speaking Tharu, Rana

Primary Language:  Tharu, Rana

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2017)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
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 Tharu, Rana
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Online New Testament (Bibles India)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Sanjib Chaudhary 
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more