Sonar Khatri in India

Sonar Khatri
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Sonar Khatri
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 52,000
World Population: 52,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - Sonar
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

According to Hindu legend the first Sonar was used by the goddess Devi to destroy a powerful demon who was made of gold. The Sonar convinced that vain demon that he would look better if he were polished, which meant he had to be melted down. When this happened and the demon was destroyed, Devi rewarded the Sonar by giving him the head of this demon.

There are subgroups of the Sonars based on location. This includes the Hindi speaking Khatri Sonars in Uttar Pradesh. They are part of the Vaishya caste groupings, the third in rank of the four. Vaishyas may not have the status of the higher two caste groupings, but they often have more wealth, since they are businessmen and merchants.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Known for their work with gold and silver, Khatri Sonars produce elaborate jewelry and ornaments, using precious and semi-precious stones. Some engrave deities on plates of gold and silver as well as pendants. Others cut and polish diamonds. Typically, Khatri Sonars own their own jewelry stores, while others are paid for skilled designs in delicate filigree.

Being a skilled goldsmith brings status in Hindu India. In a Hindu wedding, the bride literally wears her worldly possessions as products made by the Sonars. Even if a Khatri Sonar is not present at a wedding, their presence is felt by everyone who sees the bride decked out in a Khatri Sonar's beautiful golden artwork. Khatri Sonars have contact with just about every Hindu community. For that reason, if members of the Sonar community became believers, they could potentially influence all Hindu people groups.

Today, their role is becoming more diverse. Some are skilled artisans who develop beautiful jewelry and artwork. Others are landowners, pawnbrokers, or money lenders. They are becoming more educated as a community which is opening doors for more opportunities.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Khatri Sonars are Hindus who worship the regular Hindu gods, especially Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. They also have family, clan and regional gods that they worship. Along with other Hindu communities, the Sonars celebrate Holi, Dussehra, Janamashtami, Navrati, and Diwali.

What Are Their Needs?

Khatri Sonars need humility and the desire to serve the God who created all gold, and everything else they see. They need to taste and see that the Lord is good … and great!

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Khatri Sonar families and community leaders to seek his face and enjoy his blessings.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a Disciple Making Movement among Sonar peoples.
Pray that soon many members of the Sonar communities will have faith that is more precious and durable than gold.

Text Source:   Joshua Project