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Yakha in Nepal

Yakha

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
23,000 Yakkha Other / Small 0.72 % Unknown No   

Yakha in Nepal

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Introduction / History
Nepal is a small, mountainous nation located in the Himalayan Mountains, and sandwiched between Tibet and India. It is quite diverse culturally, providing a home to a large number of ethnic groups that speak various languages and have numerous religious beliefs.

The Yakha are a tribal group living in nearly 600 villages throughout the mountains of eastern Nepal. They are found throughout the Kosi Zone but are primarily just south of the city of Chainpur. Of Mongolian descent, they speak Yakha, a part of the Tibeto-Burman language family.

Nepal is predominantly an agricultural nation, with the majority of the population dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Despite this agricultural focus, Nepal is poor and undeveloped. The Yakha subsist primarily as mountain farmers, but the men do have a tradition of migrating to the cities for work.

What are their lives like?
The Yakha economy is weak due to their poor agricultural system. The abundance of available land has made cultivation of new lands possible, but inadequate technology limits the productivity of Yakha farms. Most people are able to own their own land and raise a few animals. They grow rice, maize, and potatoes and trade some of their crops for goods that cannot be grown or made in the region.

Families work hard together in their farming efforts. Men plow the fields, women plant the seeds, and at harvest time both sexes complete the job. During harvest, families will often help one another with the work, especially during busy times. They typically live in two-storied houses made of timber, mud, and stone and covered with thatched roofs. Their dress is similar to many of the Rai groups, with the men wearing daura-sarwals (long wrap-around tops, with vests and tight pants). The women typically wear lungis (wrap-around skirts) with cholos (blouses) and vests.

Many Yakha intermarry with members of the Limbu and Rai tribes because their cultures are all very similar. In most marriages, the boy chooses the girl he wishes to marry. If her parents agree to it, the wedding can take place regardless of what the girl says. As a result of intermixing with other Nepalese groups, many Yakha men and women have adapted somewhat to Nepalese culture, and many are now bilingual, speaking basic Nepali as their second language.

What are their beliefs?
As a tribe, the Yakha were traditionally animists, worshiping the deities and spirits of nature. Today, however, most identify themselves as Buddhists. A few have embraced Hindu customs and beliefs because of their exposure to Nepalese and Indian culture. They also celebrate and observe all of the important Hindu festivals such as Durga puja and Diwali, and also engage in ancestor worship (praying to deceased relatives for guidance, blessings, and protection). Their pujhari, or priests, play an important role in the communities. They perform marriage and death rites, as well as the puja, or worship ceremonies, at festival times.

What are their needs?
Nepal has long been hidden away and forgotten by most of the world. The government of Nepal is opposed to any form of proselytizing; and so government restrictions apply, but most of the time Christians can follow their religion. There are more problems from family members than from the government.

Among the Yakha, Christianity is considered a low-caste or foreign religion. As a result, many Yakha are very anti-Christian and would excommunicate from their communities any who become Christian. This kind of threatened separation from the tribe is a formidable barrier to most in the Yakha culture, who naturally have a depressed self-image and a fear of rejection by society. The Yakha also have a strong desire to hold on to cultural and religious traditions. One key to reaching the Yakha with the Gospel, however, may be their desire and deep respect for traits such as honesty and kindness. Believers who have opportunities to live Christ-filled lives before the Yakha may be able to gain their respect and point them to the Author of Life.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to work among the Yakha.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will break up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Yakha towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will open the hearts of Nepal's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a vigorous Yakha church for the glory of His name!

View Yakha in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-14
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Country: Nepal
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:32 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:23,000
Largest Provinces:
Kosi (14,000)Narayani (4,100)
Mechi (2,900)Lumbini (700)
Bagmati (400)Janakpur (300)
Bheri (200)Sagarmatha (200)
Mahakali (90)Gandaki (50)
Total Provinces on file:12
Location in Country:They live in nearly 600 villages throughout the mountains of eastern Nepal. They are found throughout the Koshi Zone but are primarily just south of the city of Chainpur. A migrant community of Yakha has moved to north-east India in the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, and in Sikkim.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Yakha
People Name General: Yakha
Alternate People Names:
DewanDewansala
KakkaLhorong
PhagaPhhaga
RoiYakhhaba Sala
YakkaYakkha
Yakkhaba CeaYakthomba
यखा
ROP3 Code: 110935
Joshua Project People ID: 15957
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 23,000
Population all Countries: 29,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - Other
People Name General: Yakha
Ethnic Code: MSY50z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Yakkha (19,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ybh    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Nepali (5,000)Tibetan, Central (Unknown)
Total Languages: 3
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Other / Small
Religion Sub-division:Kirati
Major Religions:
Buddhism2.82 % 
Christianity0.72 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism25.02 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small70.57 % 
Unknown0.87 % 
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 4   Greater than or equal to 2% Evangelical
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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 (GRN)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Yakkha
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Yakha in Nepal

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    South Asia Tribal - Other     Asia, South    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Yakha Nepal    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Yakha in Nepal          
      Religion Language  
      Other / Small     Yakkha  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=15957&rog3=NP