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Gara in India

Gara

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Map source: Omid / Joshua Project
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
800 Lohar, Lahul Buddhism 1.50 % Unknown No No   

Gara in India

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Identity
Approximately 1,000 people belonging to the Gara ethnic group live in the Leh and Kargil districts of the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. An unknown (probably very small) number also live in the Lahul and Spitti districts of Himachal Pradesh. The exact population here is uncertain as they were only recognized as a Scheduled Tribe in India in 1989—too late to be counted separately in the last census taken in India in 1981. Ethnologist Sachchindanandra Prasad estimated a 1998 population of 1,000 Gara people.

Few sources have ever mentioned the Gara as a distinct ethnicity— making it even more surprising that the Indian authorities have granted them official status. Those few sources that do mention the Gara usually list them as a sub-group of the Ladakhi. While it is true that much of their culture mirrors Ladakhi culture, there are significant social differences between the two peoples. The main difference is a linguistic one. The Gara speak an Indo- European language, totally distinct from the Tibeto-Burman Ladakhi.

Customs
The Gara serve the Ladakhi as blacksmiths. Traditionally there was a clear distinction between the Ladakhi and smaller servant groups in the area. K S Singh notes, 'The Ladakhis traditionally did not participate in the marriage and death rituals of the Gara, Mon and Beda. Secular attitudes have brought neighbouring communities closer to each other socially.' Today, even though the Gara live in ethnically mixed communities, the Ladakhi consider the Gara the lowest social class. The Gara are still not allowed to hold any position in the village or monastery administration. They supply the Ladakhi with iron implements. In return, they usually receive a fixed amount of grain as payment.

Ceremonies are organized throughout the year in which Gara youth are afforded the opportunity to search for a spouse. Young women wear their best traditional clothing to these ceremonies, as a display of their needlework goes a long way to attracting a prospective suitor. Marriages are arranged 'through negotiation, elopement, exchange, courtship, etc.... Bride price is paid both in cash and kind. The reasons for seeking divorce are adultery, barrenness, maladjustment, impotency, cruelty and inability to meet the wife's expenses, and remarriage is permissible.'

Religion
Most Gara families follow Tibetan Buddhism, while a few are Hindus, especially among the Gara in Himachal Pradesh. One source notes, 'They observe all the Buddhist festivals and celebrate Losae and Budh-Purnima.' Influences from Bon, the pre-Buddhism religion, can still be seen in the rituals and ceremonies of the Gara. Bon is basically a belief in spirit worship and demonism. Powerful demonic spirits are called upon for assistance and protection. Gruesome masks are worn, and occasionally the lamas go into a demonic trance during which they predict the future and give guidance to the community.

Christianity
Although more than 200 Ladakhi people believe in Christ today, and the gospel has been established in the area for 150 years, there are no known Christians among the Gara. The social divisions between the different groups create barriers for the gospel.

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Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-09-08
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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:800
Largest States:
Jammu and Kashmir (500)Himachal Pradesh (300)
Total States on file:2
Location in Country:Approximately 1,000 people belonging to the Gara ethnic group live in the Leh and Kargil districts of the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
   
 
Maps
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Gara
People Name General: Gara
Alternate People Names:
DombaGarba
GarraZoba
गर्अ
ROP3 Code: 112066
Joshua Project People ID: 16803
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 800
Population all Countries: 2,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - Other
People Name General: Gara
Ethnic Code: MSY50r
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Lohar, Lahul (700 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lhl    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Zangskari (80)
Total Languages: 2
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism60.14 % 
Christianity1.50 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism17.41 % 
Islam20.68 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.14 % 
Unknown0.14 % 
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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
 
 
Ministry Activity
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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
 
 

Gara in India

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    South Asia Tribal - Other     Asia, South    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Gara India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Gara in India          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Lohar, Lahul  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=16803&rog3=IN