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Punjabi in Malaysia


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Punjabi in Malaysia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
71,000 Punjabi, Eastern Other / Small 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Punjabi in Malaysia

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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. There are approximately ninety thousand Punjabi in Malaysia. They first came to Malaysia in the 19th century as British political prisoners. A second wave was brought in by the British to serve as policemen for the British Straits Settlement communities and as night watchmen for industries.

Punjabi are a small minority among the approximately two million Indians in Malaysia. They have preserved a distinct Punjabi/Sikh identity within Malaysian society that sets them apart from the Tamil and other Indian communities that are Hindu. Malaysians commonly refer to the Punjabi community as Bengali, which is a misconception since they are actually from Punjab and not West Bengal. This misconception began because their Malaysian identification cards classify them as Bengali. Most people in Malaysia view the terms 'Punjabi' and 'Sikh' as synonymous. In reality, significant minorities of Punjabi people are Muslim and even smaller minorities are Hindu. Punjabi Muslims identify closely with other Indian Muslims as well as the majority of Malay. Punjabi Hindus and Muslims commonly refer to themselves as Hindustani and Indian Muslim, respectfully. The Sikh see themselves as the only Punjabi that remain distinct from other groups in Malaysian society.

What are their lives like?
Many of the males are characterized by their long beards and neatly wound turbans. Many of the younger generation, however, can be found without beards or turbans. Another distinctive feature relates to food. If you catch the sight or scent of chapati (a traditional type of Punjabi bread) there is sure to be a Sikh nearby.

Subsequent generations of Punjabi in Malaysia realized the value of greater education and pursued occupations in professional fields such as medicine, law, teaching, and business. Some Sikhs are still visible as security guards and police officers. As the Punjabi in Malaysia become more educated and more integrated into modern Malaysian society, less emphasis is being place on the ability to read and write Punjabi. However, Punjabi people remain distinct from other people of Indian origins because of their religious beliefs and strong sense of community.

What are their beliefs?
Punjabi are predominantly followers of the Sikh religion, though there are significant minorities of Muslim and Hindu among them. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that was founded in northern India during the 16th century. Its teachings have combined elements of both Hinduism and Islam in an attempt to find one god who transcends all religious distinctions. Sikhism stresses the importance of devotion, intense faith in the guru (teacher), the repetition of their god's name as a means of salvation or moksha (release into god's love), opposition to the worship of idols, the brotherhood of all men, and rejection of caste (pattern of social classes in Hinduism) system.

What are their needs?
Punjabi Hindus and Muslims are often misunderstood and overlooked as distinct people groups among their larger religious and linguistic affiliations. Pray that Indian believers will help meet the needs of the Punjabi regardless of which religion they follow.

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Country: Malaysia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:43 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Western Peninsular.
(Source: Ethnologue 2020)
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Punjabi
People Name General: Punjabi
Alternate People Names:
Eastern PunjabiGurmukhi
Mirpur PunjabiPanjabi
ROP3 Code: 108182
Joshua Project People ID: 14483
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 71,000
Population all Countries: 2,136,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
People Name General: Punjabi
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Punjabi, Eastern (71,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): pan    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Punjabi
Dialect Code:761
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Other / Small
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam10.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small90.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
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]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1818-1954
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1959-2021
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 RecordingsDAVAR Partners recording, complete Bible
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsRecorded oral Bible
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus video
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Punjabi, Eastern
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible: Punjabi, Eastern
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterDownload scripture in this language
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Punjabi, Eastern
Text / Printed MatterOnline New Testament (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Punjabi in Malaysia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Muslim - other     Asia, Southeast    
      Punjabi Malaysia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Punjabi in Malaysia          
      Religion Language  
      Other / Small     Punjabi, Eastern  
    All Religions                              

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