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Barua in Bangladesh



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Map source: Omid / Joshua Project
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
11,000 Chittagonian Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Barua in Bangladesh

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Identity
Approximately 800 people belonging to the Barua ethnic group live in the north-east India state of Tripura. They live intermingled in villages with people from other ethnicities, in the Sadar Subdivision of the West Tripura District (also known as Agartala) and the Udaipur Subdivision of the South Tripura District. K S Singh notes, 'Though their total population is not known, it is said that the number of Barua families in Tripura would not exceed 150'.

The name Barua is derived from two words, bara meaning 'renowned', and ua meaning 'ruler'. In ancient times, the most highly ranked military ruler of Chattagram under the king of Arakan was a man called Barua.

History
The Barua are unique among all the peoples of India in that they are Buddhists who speak a derivative of the Bengali language. Those living in Bangladesh as well as in parts of India speak Chatgaiyan (i.e. Chittagonian), a dialect of Bengali which has a similarity to Burmese, Assamese and Bengali, in vocabulary, phonology as well as enunciation. Although almost all Bengalis are Hindus or Muslims, for historical reasons that are not clear the Barua have survived as a Buddhist enclave in the midst of the two giants of Islam and Hinduism.

Customs
After Barua women marry they wear vermilion and conch-shell bangles as marriage symbols and as a sign of their unavailability to men. 'Residence after marriage is patrilocal. Although either spouse can seek divorce, its incidence is rare. Nowadays, the practice of paying bride-price in cash is being replaced by that of dowry.'

Traditionally the Barua earned their livelihood through farming, fishing and hunting. As waves of migrants have entered Tripura the number of wild animals has diminished, making hunting a fruitless exercise unless the participants are willing to trek deep into the forests. The Barua raise goats and chickens today as their main sources of protein.

In the past 20 years, as education levels among them have improved, a number of Barua men and women have obtained jobs as office workers, teachers and administrators in the towns of Tripura.

Religion
Perhaps the most fascinating mystery concerning the Barua people is their belief in Theravada Buddhism. The nearest Buddhist communities to them are probably the Chakma and other Theravada Buddhist peoples in the Chittagong Hill tracts of Bangladesh. Just how the Barua came to believe in Buddhism, and equally how they have managed to preserve their faith under pressure from all sides, is difficult to ascertain because they have no written history. 'The Barua are Buddhist. The families linked with a Buddhist temple are brought under their traditional association, which is headed by a marubbi. They worship at the family level and participate in traditional festivals.'

As the Barua have slowly lost their culture, their Buddhist beliefs have gradually become mixed with Hinduism. The Barua are now allowed to marry people from non-Buddhist communities such as the Brahmin, Kayastha and Magh, which means that Buddhism may become extinct in the next generation of Barua. There are no known Christians among this interesting and unique unreached people group.

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Country: Bangladesh
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:41 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:11,000
Largest Provinces:
Chittagong (11,000)Rangpur (500)
Dhaka (100)Khulna (60)
Total Provinces on file:4
   
 
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: Barua
People Name General: Barua
Alternate People Names:
बरुआ
ROP3 Code: 111524
Joshua Project People ID: 16382
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 11,000
Population all Countries: 12,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Bengali
People Name General: Barua
Ethnic Code: CNN25b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Chittagonian (8,600 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ctg    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Bengali (1,200)
Total Languages: 2
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism94.25 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism5.75 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
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
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
Yes
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)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Chittagonian
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Chittagonian
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
 
 
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
 
 

Barua in Bangladesh

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Bengali     South Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Barua Bangladesh    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Barua in Bangladesh          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Chittagonian  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=16382&rog3=BG