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Yakthumba, Limbu in India

Yakthumba, Limbu

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Yakthumba, Limbu in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
151,000 Nepali Hinduism 9.60 % Unknown   

Yakthumba, Limbu in India

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Introduction / History
The majority of the Limbu live in the extreme eastern section of Nepal; however, a few live in the adjacent Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal. They live primarily in the area between the high Himalayan Mountains and the plains of northern India.

The Limbu are closely related to the neighboring Rai. Together, the two groups comprise the Kiranti, a large tribal group which lives in much of eastern Nepal. The Limbu are of Mongolian descent and speak a dialect of Kiranti called Limbu, which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.

The Limbu are known and admired for their bravery, fearlessness, and strong work ethic. They enjoy drinking and dancing, and these two activities are practiced at nearly all important events, including weddings, funerals, gift exchanges, and conflict settlements. These events give the young people opportunities not only to enjoy the drinking and dancing, but also to meet one another.

What are their lives like?
The Limbu are almost exclusively farmers, growing rice, corn, and millet as staple crops. They often use a mixture of straw, leaves, and manure to fertilize their fields. Those who live at lower elevations often cultivate rice on terraces that are painstakingly carved out of the mountainside. The terraces are irrigated by diverting streams or springs and allowing them to flow down from one terrace to the next. In addition to their cultivated fields, nearly all the Limbu have gardens near their homes, where crops such as spinach, cabbage, potatoes, mangoes, and oranges are grown. In an effort to generate extra income for their families, many Limbu men join either the Nepalese or Indian army.

A poor Limbu family may live in a house made of mud or bamboo with a straw roof. In contrast, a wealthy family may inhabit a two-story stone structure with an iron-sheet roof. However, the most common type of home is more durable than the first type but less elaborate than the second. Most houses are poorly ventilated, poorly lighted, and have little furniture. At the front of the house, there is usually a verandah that faces a large courtyard. The courtyard is used as a place to carry out family chores and to spend leisure time.

In Limbu families, the wife plays a very active role. This is partially due to the fact that the husband often leaves to join the army to generate more income. During her husband's prolonged absences, the wife holds the family together and is the main decision-maker concerning household matters. When a young woman marries, she lives in constant fear of her mother-in-law. Many brides return home because they are unable get along with their mothers-in-law. Until the bride is accepted by her husband's mother, the marriage remains quite shaky.

Interestingly, the Limbu are hesitant to address each other by name. Calling out a name in public is taboo and creates embarrassment.

What are their beliefs?
Many Limbu follow a combination of Buddhism and their traditional beliefs. While they recognize and participate in many important Hindu festivals, they also hold animal sacrifices to appease their gods, a practice condemned by Hinduism. The Limbu do believe in a god who created the universe, but they worship him as a force or energy rather than as a personal being.

The Limbu believe that after a woman marries, she inherits her mother's gods, who are then recognized as the gods of the young woman's household. If her husband commits an offense or causes a problem, he is required to be washed clean of his deed in order to appease the household gods.

What are their needs?
Very few of the Limbu have become Christians. Nearly all continue to follow Buddhism, Hinduism, and their traditional ethnic religion. Christian intercessors are the key to breaking the power that Satan has over their lives.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to call Spirit-filled Christians who will share the Gospel with the Limbu of India.
Ask the Lord to strengthen, embolden, and protect the small number of Limbu believers.
Ask God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors who will faithfully intercede for the Limbu.

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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:10 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:151,000
Largest States:
West Bengal (64,000)Sikkim (44,000)
Assam (34,000)Uttarakhand (1,800)
Meghalaya (1,200)Manipur (1,200)
Himachal Pradesh (1,000)Arunachal Pradesh (700)
Mizoram (600)Uttar Pradesh (200)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Yakthumba, Limbu
People Name General: Yakthumba, Limbu
Alternate People Names:
Black MountainChaang
Ole MonpaOlekha
ROP3 Code: 105776
Joshua Project People ID: 13065
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 151,000
Population all Countries: 597,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia - other
People Name General: Yakthumba, Limbu
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Nepali (103,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): npi    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Limbu (21,000)Bengali (4,600)
Hindi (2,000)Assamese (400)
Lepcha (300)Newar (200)
Total Languages: 7
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism3.79 % 
Christianity9.60 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism63.56 % 
Islam0.10 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small21.94 % 
Unknown1.02 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have only a very small representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1850-1961
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1914-2012
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus video
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Nepali
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoNew Way (Naya Goreto)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralGospel resources links
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed MatterBible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed MatterBible: Nepali
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Nepali
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Yakthumba, Limbu in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia - other     Asia, South    
      Yakthumba, Limbu India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Yakthumba, Limbu in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Nepali  
    All Religions                              

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