Walang in China

Walang
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
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People Name: Walang
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,100
World Population: 7,600
Primary Language: Walungge
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Walang people are believed to have migrated south from Tibet several hundred years ago, before settling in their present location. Their language has evolved over the years, so that today it reportedly shares 71 per cent lexical similarity with Lhasa Tibetan. The linguistic relationships show the Walung's historical link to Tibet.

For generations the Walang dominated trade in this part of Nepal, earning their livelihoods as middlemen on the route between Tibet and India. In 1972 one book reported, 'Many successful and rich traders are in residence here. Exports to Tibet include grain, cotton thread and material, sugar, cigarettes, matches and other such goods generally of Indian origin, in exchange for wool, woolen carpets and Tibetan salt. Yak, mules and dzums are used by traders as pack animals. Sar is the nearest town in Tibet, about a four or five day's journey from the border.' When modern roads and transportation killed trade through the Walung area, many of the people were left in turmoil as they had completely relied on trade as their source of income. There were few crops planted in the Walung villages, and few kept animals.

Where Are they Located?

The Walang people live in the Himalayan Mountains, mainly in Bhutan and Nepal. A smaller number of them live in India's state of West Bengal and China.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Their houses are built of stone walls with wooden shingle roofs. Crops include barley, wheat and potato. The people adhere to Buddhism and their chief deity at the Walungchung gompa is Chenrezi. The Walung people have been hit hard by the decline in Tibetan trade and many have migrated to Darjeeling, Kathmandu and Hile.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Tibetan Buddhism is the religion of almost all Walung people. The main village of Walungchung has a large monastery that was built more than 200 years ago. Monks from Lhasa were often invited to come down to the Walung area to reside at the monastery.

What Are Their Needs?

Improved educational opportunities as well as better medical care are needed.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Walang people in China teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Walang families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Walang families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Walang family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.

Text Source:   Keith Carey