Punjabi in Myanmar (Burma)

Photo Source:  Web Flippy - Pixabay 
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Punjabi
Country: Myanmar (Burma)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 11,000
World Population: 2,183,800
Primary Language: Punjabi, Eastern
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 1.20 %
Evangelicals: 0.63 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

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 Myanmar speak the Eastern Punjabi dialect.

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 large Punjabi communities in nearly thirty other countries including Myanmar.

What Are Their Lives Like?

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 affiliations.

The Punjabi immigrants in Myanmar have taken on a variety of occupations. Many have excelled as mechanics, construction workers, and business professionals. Others have found work in retail and trade, particularly through small family businesses.

Punjabis say that most of their conflicts stem from "land, women, and water." This means they deem it necessary to control the means by which a person perpetuates his family and property. This kind of thinking affects the Diaspora Punjabis, though they are unlikely to be landowners in other countries.

In traditional Punjabi culture, the men oversee the family possessions such as land, shops, or other business assets. The women manage the homes. They cook, care for the children, manage the household finances, and take care of any domestic animals.

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

Among the Punjabis, there is no overall system of social control. Instead, each institution (such as business, home, civil administration, religious organization, or political organization) has its own set of laws and disciplinary measures.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Punjabis in Myanmar are Hindus. Hindus tend to be pragmatic about their religious beliefs, worshipping the god or goddess whom they believe will help them with practical matters. There are also many Punjabis in that country who are atheists.

What Are Their Needs?

Although there are many Christian resources available in the Eastern Punjabi language, very few Punjabis in Myanmar have been reached with the gospel. There is a great need for church planting teams to begin focusing on Punjabi Hindus.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Punjabi people in Myanmar 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 Myanmar 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.

Text Source:   Joshua Project