The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

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The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 03 Jul 2008

How Sindhis see themselves. Taken at random from perhaps not the best laid out but earnest Sindhi website.
Sindhis of World

What makes Sindhis distinct?

The people of a race or a community distinguish themselves in comparison with other races or communities because of the characteristics they possess, the characteristics which are exclusive property of that community or race. These characteristics which make Sindhis distinct from others are enumerated below:

Sindhis are successful:

The stories about Sindhis being successful in their life and profession are many. Wherever Sindhis have gone they have shown others how to achieve their goal and prove to be successful in whatever profession they have entered. Though Sindhis were labeled as non-martial race by Britishers, they always fought courageously with numerous invaders and came out successful from all adverse situations. Earlier Sindhis were recognized as successful businessmen only, but Sindhis of today have excelled in all walks of life – industry, medicine, cinema, learning and letters, technology, computers, journalism, finance and banking – in short in every conceivable vocation.

Sindhis are enterprising:

Sindhis have ventured far and wide. Establishing successfully in far off lands is proof enough of their enterprising spirit. The perseverance always enables them achieve their goal. Because of their enterprising nature they are present in every nook and corner of the world as successful businessmen. The younger generation has acquired control over other occupations as well. Besides trade they have excelled in technology, industry, journalism, finance, etc. With their knowledge and intelligence they have established themselves in their new professions successfully. They have even entered the armed forces of the country and have proved that they are warriors as well.

Sindhis are self reliant:

Sindhis do not seek any support from others. They always put in their efforts to achieve their goal. The manner in which Sindhis have established themselves in various walks of life and society irrespective of trying environments after their migration to India in 1947 speaks of this distinct quality of Sindhis. They did not depend upon the begging bowl and instead worked hard and found new moorings.

Sindhis are God fearing:

Sindhis have deep faith in God. Whenever they find themselves in a tight corner and are at a loss to think of a way out of that situation they turn to God and get through all difficult situations. This enabled them to survive in hard and trying situations under various invaders in spite of their persecution. Jhulelal, their God, heard their prayers and relieved them of the persecution by the king of the times. Besides their Ishtdev Jhulelal, Sindhis follow the philosophies of propagating other religions. Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity all are equally important for them because they believe in “Vasudheva Kautambakam” i.e. entire universe is one family. As such they worship all prophets, Saints, great men. Their worshipping places preserve photographs of all of them.

Sindhis are benevolent:

Sindhis believe in helping others to the best of their capability. They look after the necessities of the society and contribute towards the social causes. We find that Sindhis have opened a number of schools and colleges, hospitals, homes for widows, orphanages and many such institutions wherever they have established themselves. Sindhi businessmen always take out some portion of their earnings for using it for charitable purposes. The Palau Sindhis recite at the end of their social and religious functions where they specifically ask for good of all the neighbors and all the people residing in even far off lands.

Sindhis are cosmopolitans:

Sindhis go to many far off places for the purpose of their business. Being expert businessmen, they very well know that their customers are very important for them. As such they adapt the ways of life and society of their customers. This enables them to gain confidence of new society and become a part of that society. They borrow new ways of life – food, clothes, manners, philosophy – from other cultures and in the course of time these ways of life become inseparable part of Sindhi culture.

Sindhis do not have any caste system:

All Hindu communities in the country follow the varnashram system of Aryans and have divided the society in four castes – Kshatryas, Brahmins, Vaishyas and Shudras. Sindhis do not have such division in their society. They never followed a rigid caste system. That is why Sindhis are considered to be only businessmen. All members of the society inter-mingle with one another without any consideration of four castes of Aryans. There are no untouchables in Sindhis.

Sindhis are hospitable:

Sindhis consider a guest a God incarnation and try their best to greet the guest with open arms and make him/her comfortable during his/her stay with them. Even the poorest amongst Sindhis will always greet the guest with something to eat. The least they offer is a ‘papad’, which has now become a universal food item.

Sindhis are very simple:

Sindhis are simple in their dress and habits. ‘Muan-jo-Daro’ excavations have established this fact. They are simple to the extent of being gullible. However, some of Sindhis have now joined the main stream of society where show off has become a part of their lives.

Sindhis are not united:

Sindhis have ample intelligence i.e. ‘BUDDHI’, but they do not have unity i.e. ‘BADHI’. Due to this Sindhis have not only lost their motherland, they have not been able to acquire any position in governance of the country. If one acquires a position of importance, others will try to bring him down and will feel pleased with their doing. Due to this Sindhis are only for playing second fiddle in many walks of life.

Sindhi Panchayats

Historically the institution of Panchayat (Painchat in Sindhi) dates back to the period of Aryans. The village administration of Aryans was run by a group of elders, similar to a Panchayat. The senior most person of a group of families was the head of the Panchayat and the heads of various branches of the families were the members of the Panchayat. They looked after administration, cultural and social development of the inhabitants of the village. These villages were self sufficient in all respects.

In rural Sindh this practice of having a Panchayat was continued. Each village had its own Panchayat. In urban Sindh, besides a regular Panchayat various trades people and different sections of the society formed their respective Panchayats or Associations e.g. Bhaiband Panchayat, Amil Panchayat, Sonara Association, Bajaji Association, etc. Many of such associations sometimes overlapped the areas of work and often had common members.

This was the only cultural structure that Sindhis kept intact when they settled down in different parts of India after their migration in1947. In Sindh also whenever rural groups shifted to urban areas, peoples with distinct shades of their rural origin kept themselves together by forming their Panchayats as separate from other such groups. After 1947, in India too, Sindhis migrating from a particular area or belonging to a particular sect or group settled down together at one place and tried to stick together by establishing separate Panchayats. But the question of livelihood forced some of them to shift from one place to another and thus they had to adapt to the ways of the groups of that place. In this way the society which was earlier divided in various sects came together and the prejudices of the sects were either minimised or wiped off totally.

In India the associations are named as Panchyats and Societies. Various colonies in a city, where Sindhis are in good number have their Panchayats and Societies. In some cities, societies of various colonies have joined together in a mega Panchayat or Society representing the entire city. In the same manner there are societies on an All India basis, which try to bind Sindhis culturally nation-wide. All these associations called by whatever name viz. Panchayat, Society, and Council, etc. try at their level for the advancement of Sindhi literature, Sindhi Culture, and Sindhi Social structure.

An effort is being made to collect particulars of a large number of such institutions in India and overseas. Sindhi world expects YOU to forward information regarding such associations so that these are listed here to enable Sindhis to contact one another.

Sindhi Dharamshalas

It is very difficult and trying to adjust oneself in an unknown place. One has to face innumerable obstacles to get even the bare necessities of life in an unknown place.

And who can know it better than a Sindhi?

Sindhis have been traveling far and wide for their trade and business. They very often go to places they have never seen or heard of before. But once they reach such difficult places they adapt themselves to their environment thoroughly. And then they forewarn others who follow them to these places. Not only that, they also try to make others comfortable there. For this purpose Sindhis establish a Dharamshala, wherever they are settled. They have also established Dharamshalas in far off places of pilgrimage, hill stations and many other places worth visiting.

In these Dharamshalas the people get all facilities at little or no cost. These Dharamshalas in various towns and cities enable tradesmen and businessmen to stay there during their business trips. Dharamshalas in holy places and in places of pilgrimage are meant for the pilgrims to stay there during pilgrimage. During migration of Sindhi Hindus in 1947, these Dharamshalas provided a good shelter to Sindhi refugees till they could settle down in new environments.

Sindhis residing in foreign countries too might have established such places where their brethren could take refuge in initial days of their stay. Information about them will be welcome.

Mr. Vensi N. Motiramani of Mumbai, India has compiled a list of about 600-700 such Dharamshalas situated in various places of India. A click of the mouse for murlidb@hotmail.com can bring detailed information about Dharamshalas in various places.

Religious Sindhis

Sindhis being Sufis by nature do not adopt strictly the ritualistic religion. Nevertheless they are religious because they follow all religions and Sects. Sindhis keep idols of various Gods and Goddesses in their temple. Photographs of various Gods, Goddesses, Gurus, Pirs, Godman and prominent personalities of various religions and cults hang from its walls. Even Guru Granth Sahib, has a sacred place in a Sindhi Mandir.

Sindhis of Indus Valley were Shaivas (followers of Shiva and Ganesh) and Shaktas (followers of Shakti – mother Goddess or Devi). With the advent of Aryans in Sindh, Sindhis started following Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The spread of Buddhism and Jainism in lower Sindh enabled Arabs to conquer Sindh because the Satraps of lower Sindh did not fight them. With Arabs came Sufis and Sindhis adopted Sufism being nearer to Advaitvad. In course of time it became inseparable part of Sindhi character.

With migration of Sikhs to Sindh because of their persecution by Muslim rulers of Punjab Sindhis adopted Sikhism. Especially Sindhi ladies learnt Punjabi script to enable them to read Guru Granth Sahib. Many of Amils, a sect of Sindhis, adopted Sikhism.

With British rule, Christianity found favour with Sindhis and many of them embraced Christianity. During British rule many social and cultural movements affected Sindhis who became Aryasamajis, Brahmosamajis, Radhaswamis, Radhasoamis, Nirankaris, etc. After coming to India Sindhis have become followers of Nuri Granth of Dada Vaswani, Nij Thanw of Sant Lachmandas, Brahma Kumaris (earlier known as Om Mandli) of Dada Lekhraj, Balaji Tirupati, Sai baba of Shridi, Sathya Sai Baba of Puttapurthi, Acharya Rajneesh, etc.

Sindhis believe that God is one but He is manifested in various Gods, Goddesses and God men. As such Sindhis worship one and all. In fact Sindhis, not following any highly ritualistic worship, are adaptable to the neighbourer’s faith. As such Sindhis in Maharashtra worship Ganesh, those in Bengal worship Durga and in south they celebrate Pongal.

Uderolal (commonly known as Jhulelal) is Ishtadeva of Sindhis. His birthday is celebrated with great enthusiasm as Cheti Chand. Sindhis travelled by water to far off lands for their commerce. Hence they worshipped Water God and many of them were called Daryapanthis. Uderolal, who is incarnation of Water God once, saved them from persecution from Muslim king Mirkhshah, who ordered Hindus of Thatto to adopt Islam.

Hindus worshipped the Water God, who responded to their prayers for relieving them of the persecution by Mirkhshah and appeared as Uderolal. When he defeated Mirkhshah and impressed him with his powers, the latter became his follower along with many Muslims. Sindhi Muslims call him Zindapir.

In this manner Sindhis are true followers of Vasudhaiva Kutambakam.

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 04 Jul 2008

A link to many useful links about the Sindh, here; The Story Of My Jeejal Sindh.

Interesting I find the manner in which, subjected to Islamic invasion, Sindhi adopted to embrace both Hinduism and Islam, drawing particular refer to the Sufi influences, e.g. "the lover and the beloved" etc.
From the section entitled, "The Fusion of Islam and Hinduism"

"We find Islam and Hinduism amalgamated here in a way more remarkable way, perhaps, than in any other part of India. The Hindu will often become the disciple (murid) of a Muslim, and vice versa; not only are the same saints respected by members of both religions, but each faith uses a different name for the same holy man. The Hindus know the river-god under the name Jind Pir (zindah, 'the living one'), while Muhammadans call him Khwaja Khidr; in the same way Uddero Lal of the Hindus becomes the Musalman Shaikh Tahir and Lala Jasraj becomes Pir Mangho ..." I think virtually everyone today, or at least all the fakirs at the place that I met as well as Sindhi scholars, use the name 'Uddero Lal', I don't know why or when this happened, but may be the popularity of the folk song "jeko chavando jhule laali, tahinjaa theenda BeRaa paari"...

From the next section entitled "Worship of Saints":

"The distinguishing feature of Islam in Sind is the widespread worship of saints (pir, wali). This is largely due to the influence of Sufism and is opposed to the original form of the faith. But, though, they may have lost touch with the orthodoxy, the Musalmans are a religious people."

"The mass of Sindhi peasantry, though they may may be unacquainted with the cardinal articles of their faith, are careless or ignorant of its precepts; but, upon the whole, they strike a stranger as being more religious according to their lights than the Musalmans of almost any other part of India. They are also pre-eminent for abject devotion to Pirs and Sayads, living or dead."

There has always been a bond of mutual love, respect, admiration and understanding between the Sindhi adherents of Islam and Hinduism...click. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that neither Hindus nor Muslims were strictly orthodox in Sindh. It is also a fact that a number of Hindus, although remaining devout Hindus, became devoted disciples of Muslim saints, like Shah Bhitai, Qalandar Shahbaz of Sehwan, and others.

At the same time and still in the 1920's there were numerous Hindus and Muslims, amongst which some of the best brains, who were Sufi's by faith. So, if you ask me what is the religion of Sindhis. Without hesitation, I would say, "SUFISM." Bhitai says, "Nya-e Neen-a Niha'ar, To mein dero Dosta jo," which, translated into English means, "Look inside you, the friend lives there." The 'friend' here is God, Allah, Bhagwan, or whatever name He is known as in His Creation. Sindhis have always been, are and shall always continue to adhere to the universal values of brotherhood, and like the jogis, wander around in search of the truth.

According to the 1991 figures, taken from "Sindhis International Yearbook," edited by Mr Prakash Bharadwaj, and printed in Hong Kong, Sindhis all over the world can be categorised into following religious denominations:
Muslim Sindhis 12,900,000
Hindu Sindhis 3,400,000
Sikh, Christian Sindhis 300,000
The History Of Sindhi Civilisation

BC 6000 : Indus Valley - Neolithic settlements.
BC 5000 : Farming, pottery and beads developed.
BC 4000 : Potter's wheel and bow drill invented.
BC 3500 : Growth of pottery.
BC 3000 : Amri civilization and its ruins.
BC 3100-BC 850 : Sindhi language...click evolved over a period of 2400 years.
BC 2500 : Kani Kot ruins - civilization
BC 2300 : Moen-jo-daro civilization...click.
BC 1700 : Aryan rule for about 1000 years starting 1700 BC.
BC 1500 : Sehwan (Sivistan) was important center of Shiva cult.
BC 810 : Egyptian Emperor Sume Rames attacked Sindh
BC 566-490 : Huns ruled Sindh.
BC 519 : Sindh annexed to Persian Achaemenian Empire ruled by King Darius for about 125 years.
BC 326-325 : Alexander the Great stormed through the Indus Valley, met resistance in Sindh and was injured in Multan.
BC 313 : Buddhism was popularised in Sindh during emperor Ashoka's period.
AD 280-500 : Persian rule.
AD 550-711 : i) Rai Sahiras and his son Rai Sahasi ruled Sindh and formed Rai Dynasty. (ii) Chach succeeded the Rai and founded Brahman Dynasty. (iii) Raja Dahar (Chach's son) took over from Chander (Chach's brother). Raja Dahar ruled Sindh for several years until the invasion of Arabs, when he was martyred.
AD 711-1026 : Sindh was invaded by a 17-year old Arab General, Muhammad Bin Qasim, establishing the Arab rule for next 305 years.
AD 1026-1350 : Soomro Dynasty ruled Sindh for 300 years.
AD 1054 : Soomras faced ruinous invasion by Mahmood Ghaznavi and Allauddin Khilji.
AD 1351 : The rise of the Samma Dynasty in Sindh.
AD 1521-1554 : Arghun Rule was established in Sindh by Shah Beg. He was a descendant of Changez Khan.
AD 1554-1591 : General Mirza Isa Beg found Tarkhan Dynasty in Sindh (Turks in origin) after the death of Shah Hassan Arghun.
AD 1555 : Portuguese sacked Thatta, a bustling metropolis of Sindh.
AD 1591-1700 : Shanshah Akbar, the Ruler of Hindustan, annexed Sindh, and ruled Sindh by appointing his governors. (40 Governors were appointed during the 81 years of rule.)
AD 1701-1782 : Kalhoras ruled Sindh for 85 years. Twelve Kalhora rulers ruled during this time. This period is known as the golden period of Sindhi literature. Poets like Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Sachal Sarmast, and Sami are among the prominent poets of Sindh.
AD 1782-1843 : Talpurs ruled Sindh for 61 years. The country was divided into three states - Hyderabad State, Khairpur State and the State of Mirpur Khas.
AD 1843 : Talpur rulers of Sindh and Baluchistan were defeated by the British under Sir Charles Napier.
AD 1847 : Sindh was made part of Bombay Presidency by the British.
AD 1851 : Sindhi language was declared official language of Sindh.
AD 1853 : Final and refined version of Sindhi script was adopted by the British throughout Sindh and Bombay, which still exist in Sindh today.
AD 1908 : Barrister Ghulam M. Bhurgri and Harchandrai Vishindas demanded independence of Sindh from Bombay.
AD 1936 : Sindh regained independence from Bombay Presidency.
AD 1947 : India achieved independence from British rule after a long struggle and great sacrifices. Sindh became part of newly created Islamic State of Pakistan. The exodus of Sindhi Hindus started and the miseries of Sindhi Muslims begun. Sindhi Hindus became refugees all over the world and Sindhi Muslims became orphans in their own motherland, where helplessly and impotently they watched the destruction, rape and death of their motherland, their fatherland Sindh.

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by paulkershaw » 04 Jul 2008

I am wondering if each person, each individual, hasn't got an aspect of 'exclusivity' within them? A need to be in their own following, to form their own 'cult - or tribe if you wish - in general.

White people marrying whites, asians co-opting amongst their own, gay villages, religious set-ups, family of certain kinds etc, people not wanting to move away from their own belief systems, even many who are wanting to be seen as special, VIP and 'exclusive' - and be above the mainstream 'sheep' of life.

Many brands of products, cars, goods and life-styles are marketed to these 'exclusive' clans and peoples.

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by mr green » 18 Jul 2008

A Sindi, Hindi and a Bindi walk into a bar ...

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 12 Aug 2008

Claude Markovits in The Global World of Indian Merchants wrote:However, the most remarkable manifestation of the eclectic character of religion in Sind was the very widespread participation of members of the two major religious communities in the worship of saints belonging to the other community. Thus there is a lot of evidence that the majority of Hindus in Sind were murids of the sufi pirs, who played such an important role in Sindhi.

By becoming murids of powerful pirs, Hindus were undoubtedly aiming at benefits which were not purely spiritual, for the protection extended by pirs over their murids could be extremely useful socially and even economically for Hindus, especially those who lived in small isolated groups among the Muslim masses.
Markovits, Claude. The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750-1947
SFD Ansari, Sufi Saints and State Power; the Pirs of Sind, 1943 - 1947.
HP Vaswani, A Saint of Modern India.
Murid (Arabic: مريد ) is a Sufi term meaning 'committed one'. It refers to a person who is committed to a teacher in the spiritual path of Sufism. It also means "willpower" or "self-esteem". A murid is an initiate into the mystic philosophy of Sufism. The initiation process is known as 'ahd (Arabic: عهد ) or Bai'ath. Before initiation a Murid is guided and taught by a Murshid or Pir who must first accept the initiate as his or her disciple.

Throughout the instruction period, the murid typically experiences visions and dreams during personal spiritual exercises. These visions are interpreted by the murshid. The murid is invested in the cloak of the order upon initiation, having progressed through a series of increasingly difficult and significant tasks on the path of mystical development. Murids often receive books of instruction from murshids and often accompany itinerant murshids on their wanderings.

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mixed fruit lassi

Post by alladin » 12 Aug 2008

Eclecticism is one of those forbidden things the BKs ask you to abandon when you first join them. The best BK adept, is a young child who knows nothing about life, the world, who has no information, a blank slate on which they can write anything. We are specifically asked to forget everything we learnt and knew before "belonging to Baba". They talk about light but prefer their "volunteers" to be kept in the darkness of ignorance.

We were ordered not to study or read anything else. Try and show up at a center carrying a book on Sufism under your arm and see what kind of comments you are bound to attract!

So, if we had known what ex-l is sharing with us here, we would have had one more element for questioning "where do these doctrines and systems from?" The BKs claim exclusivity for knowledge, although they never paid for a patent. They claim to be the "roots of the tree", the "ancestor souls", the ones who create memorials for others throughout the cycle, the original ones.

There's no proof of that and no proof of the cycle, but there's proof that other religions taught similar theories and disciplines. No wonder Gyan sounds familiar. And if in fact they just put together things from different sources, blended it and gave it us to drink like a lassi!

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by paulkershaw » 12 Aug 2008

INFORM DOCUMENT ON BKWSU STATES:
INFORM wrote:Much of the BKs’ teaching is common to other forms of mainstream Indian religion
Alladin wrote:There's no proof of that and no proof of The Cycle, but there's proof that other religions taught similar theories and disciplines. No wonder Gyan sounds familiar. And if fact they just put together things from different sources, blended it and gave it us to drink like a lassi!

Yup, after all don’t they teach “Nothing New”?

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 13 Aug 2008

In Hardayal Hardy's 'Struggles and Sorrows ~The Personal Testimony of a Chief Justice' on the Om Mandli, Hardayal called Lekhraj Kirpalani's followers the "uneducated Bania women". From Areapedia.is2c.com.

"Husbands sleeping with the handmaidens of snake daughters" aside, I think we see many similarities to, or the roots of, the values of the BKs.
The Bania of India

The Bania, or Baniya, are a large trading community. The word Bania is a generic term derived from the Sanskrit word vanij meaning merchant or trader. They believe that the community originated 5000 years ago when an ancestor Maharaja Agrasen (or Ugarsain) of Agroha, Haryana divided the Vaishya (third in the Hindu caste system) community into eighteen clans. Their surnames include Aggarwal, Gupta, Lala, Seth, Vaish, Mahajan, Sahu and Sahukar.

There are six subgroups among the Bania – the Bisa or Vaish Aggarwal, Dasa or Gata Aggarwal, Saralia, Saraogi or Jain, Maheshwari or Shaiva and Oswal. The Bisa believe that they are the descendents of the seventeen snake daughters of Bashak Nag (cobra) who married seventeen sons of Ugarsain. The husbands slept with the handmaidens of the snake daughters resulting in Dasa offspring. The Bisa (twenty) consider themselves of a higher status to the Dasa (ten). The Saralia are an offshoot of the Bisa who migrated to Saralia, near Ambala in Haryana.

The Bania are Vaishya according to the Hindu caste system and third in hierarchy below Rajputs and Brahmins but higher than all other castes. They will accept food and water from higher castes but will not offer food and water in return, but they will give to lower castes, but will not accept food from them, due to their caste status. They speak Hindi amongst themselves as well as the regional language of the states they reside in.

Lifestyle

The Bania are traders of grain, groceries and spices and also work as shopkeepers, grocers and money lenders. They have a reputation of being shrewd and mercenary. Money is loaned at very high interest rates with secured collateral, usually against land or gold. They also work in government departments, private enterprise and agriculture. There are administrators, engineers, doctors, advocates, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers and industrialists among them. They are active in politics at local, regional and national levels and have a powerful presence.

Traditionally, the Bania are strict vegetarians whose diet consists of wheat, rice, maize, pulses, lentils, vegetables, fruit and dairy products. Many younger men eat meat at social events outside their community. They do not drink alcohol but smoke and chew tobacco and paan (betel leaf.)

Literacy levels are high as both boys and girls are encouraged to study further and attain university degrees. They visit clinics and hospitals as well as alternative indigenous medicine. Family planning is practiced to limit family size. They have made good use of media and communication and benefited from the government’s development programs. They have embraced progress and developments. Agriculturists use fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation to increase crop yields. Loans provided by banks have enabled the Bania to expand or set up new businesses.

Customs

The Bania are endogamous at community and subgroup level, but strictly exogamous at the clan level though this is changing. Each of the six subgroups is divided into eighteen clans, with distinct surnames namely, Bansal, Bindal, Dhalan or Dheran, Eran, Garg, Goel, Gondal, Jindal, Kanchal, Kansal, Makukal, Mangal, Mittal, Nagal, Singhal, Tayal, Teran and Tungal. These clans regulate marriages. The Gondal, (from Chandigarh and Haryana) are known as Gond, Gand or Gharan, and are only given a half status.
The Bania are monogamous and marriages are arranged by negotiation between parents and elders on both sides. Child marriages were common earlier but that has changed. Marriage symbols for women include sindur (vermilion mark), bindi (coloured dot on the forehead), glass bangles and finger and toe rings. A large dowry in both cash and goods is a prerequisite. Divorce is not socially permitted but does occur rarely. Widower remarriage is allowed and becoming acceptable for widows except in Karnataka, where it is definitely not. Levirate and junior sororate(1) are permitted.

Joint families are common among the Bania, though smaller families also exist. Inheritance is patrilineal - all sons inherit an equal share of parental property and the eldest son succeeds his Father as head of the family. Daughters do not inherit anything. Bania families are known for the extreme loyalty towards their own community, caring and giving financially when needed.
Bania women have a low status and are usually confined to their homes though some help their husbands in the family shop and city women work. The women take part in social and religious functions only. They do decide on financial matters relating to the family. The women sing folksongs and dance at marriages, births and festivals. They are known for their cooking and make rich dishes and sweets on special occasions.

The Bania elect a caste council (biradari panchayat) by a voice vote or secret ballot. Some states may be better organized than others. In Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, a Aggarwal Maha Sabha (great assembly) plays a vital role in community matters. These councils promote welfare, handle family disputes, provide financial assistance and honour members of their community. Ostracism and fines are imposed on members who violate community regulations.

Beliefs

The majority of Bania are Hindu (88%) while 11% are Jain. There are a few Sikhs in Punjab and Haryana. The Hindu Bania worships all main Hindu gods and goddesses like Shiva (Destroyer), Parvati (his wife), Vishnu (Preserver), Krishna, Rama, Durga (a militant goddess) and Hanuman (the monkey god who wards off evil spirits and danger). Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity; Vishnu’s wife) is held in special reverence and so is Ganesh or Ganpati (elephant-headed god of good luck and remover of obstacles; Shiva’s son). These deities are prominently displayed and worshiped in their work places and homes. On the festival of Diwali (festival of lamps) the Bania close their old account books and open new ledgers which they dedicate and adorn with Ganesh’s image and an invocation to him on the front page. A silver or gold rupee is worshipped as an emblem of Lakshmi.

Village and regional deities include Khera Devta in Haryana and Kalka Devi in Delhi and Vaishno Devi near Jammu. The Bania celebrate all major Hindu festivals like Diwali, Holi (festival of colour), Janamashtami (Krishna’s birthday), Dussehra, Ramnavmi (Rama’s birthday), Maha Sivaratri (great night of Shiva) and others. The Bania like to gamble on Diwali as an omen of good luck. No money is loaned on this day. The Jain Bania celebrates Mahavir Jayanti (birthday of Mahavir, the founder of Jainism), while Sikh Bania’s observe Guruparbs (birthdays of their Gurus) and harvest and spring festivals like Lohri and Baisakhi.

The Bania cremate their dead and the ashes are immersed in a river, preferably the sacred Ganges at Haridwar. Brahman priests perform all religious rituals for births, marriages and death. Specific periods of birth and death pollution are observed. Ancestor worship is prevalent. The main centers of pilgrimage are Haridwar, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gangotri (source of the Ganges) and Badrinath.

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 13 Aug 2008

From, amilsindhis.com. See also, Origins of Amils and the Panchayat in Hyderabad and Karachi.
amilsindhis.com wrote: How Amils lived in Sind before partition

Amils in Sind comprised a well-knit community largely concentrated in Hyderabad and Karachi. In Hyderabad all lanes named after our ancestors like Advani, Kripalani, Mausukhani, etc. were interconnected with each other as neighbourhood. In later years as an extension, many Amils moved to a new colony known as Hirabad. Karachi, however was a cosmopolitan city. Amils mainly resided in three or four storied building in a locality known as Gadikhata, along with other Sindhi families. In the later years with extension of the city’s Bunder Road most well-to-do Amils constructed their bungalows naming them as Amil colony No.1 and Amil colony No.2 among others and shifted there from Gadikhata. Even then the community was well-knit in these two localities. The result and advantage of being well-knit was that on occasions such as deaths, marriages, childbirths etc. all Amils could attend together as a community, finding of grooms within the community and finalizing of marriage was convenient.


Here it may be mentioned that, Amils divided and some settled in Khairpur and others settled in Khudabad. We are the decendants of those who settled in Khudabad. Khudabad was the capital town where several migrants settled down after division and worked as government servants and businessmen. Khudabad was ruled by Mian Yar Mohammed Kalharo. Migrant Hindus of all castes, capabilities and faiths migrated from different parts of the country settled down and became one community of educated people and known as ‘Educated Amils’. They were engaged in all types of government and other services. Side by side migrants who were not much educated but were adept as businessman also formed another community of their own known as ‘Bhaibands’. Muslims who were in majority were mostly engaged as farmers and landholders- zamindars and vaderas.

It is believed that after the death of Mian Nur Mohammed some Khosla tribesmen plundered Khudabad and set the city on fire in 1759 A.D. The damage was so extensive that Khudabad could not be reconstructed as a capital city. So Kalhoros shifted the capital to Hyderabad.

In Hyderabad, Amils and Bhaibands in a planned manner were allotted separate but adjacent areas for residential purposes. In the new capital, lanes in Amil and Bhaiband areas respectively were named after their prominent persons or their forefathers. Thus there were Advani Lane, Kripalani Lane, Mirchandani Lane, Shivdasani Lane and so on. Members of both communities owned properties and resided in their respective contiguous lanes very close to each other. Since there was no system of owning private vehicles in those days the lanes were narrow in which even tongas could not ply making communities live as well-knit compact units.

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 15 Aug 2008

An interesting essay, on The Sindhi Revival by K. R. Malkani from which we can draw some parallel to the nature of the Sindhi led Brahma Kumari religion.
[There are ...] Ten million Sindhis, of whom only one quarter are in India. Bombay is the "capital" of the Sindhis in India, [but] they have spread themselves far and wide. Immediately after the Partition, Sindhis concentrated in Jodhpur and Ajmer, hoping that an unnatural thing such as Pakistan could not go on for long, and expecting to get back home quick from the proximity of Rajasthan.

What could be the reason for the dramatic success of Sindhis - and Punjabis - after the shattering shock of Partition? It is the same reason that enabled Japan and Germany to revive themselves after the trauma of defeat in World War II. This is, the mind of a people. Milton described it long back as, "the unconquerable will, never to submit or yield".

The Sindhi considers it his Fundamental Right to Succeed. Given this frame of mind, men can make gold even out of dust.

Sindhis like to adapt to the local scene. They like to be always, "sugar-in-milk" with the locals.

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making a good impression on ss

Post by alladin » 15 Aug 2008

Hi, alright. Like the "Lux" soap, success and a strong drive gets you anywhere. But Baba always underlines that there should be pure motives behind our desires, which implies trading in materialistic aims for the elevated, unlimited ones.

There's a role for every one in the BK family, although not much freedom to choose it for yourself, according to your wishes and skills. They decide for you where to appoint you in the ShivShakti Army. This army turns out to be one made of losers and underachievers, for the reasons that we all know and have been explained by many posters on the Forum (Destruction is around the corner, why bother getting high level education, settle down for less, be contented, accept ordinary jobs so that your mind is free for remembrance, do not invest any extra time in jobs or businesses, use it for Godly service instead, etc ...).

The problem is, and who can deny that this is true, that in this organization, attention and privileges in treatment are given to well off haughty people ... and not to the Karma Yogi or Yogi "Bholanath children". Investing in a fine embroidered pashmina shawl, wearing a fake gold Rolex and a Swarowsky crystal pretending to be a diamond on your finger, would be enough to gain a lot of that respect from SS. It would make an excellent impression on our beloved gurus!

And, for sure, no one would expect you to hoover or wash the plates in the center. This is just what I have seen and how things work.

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 15 Aug 2008

Hmmn ... I am sure there is some truth in what you say, alladin and a good yukti to avoid mundane "karma Yoga" (i.e. free labour).

But, dahlin' I assure you, many of the Sindhis I have seen were not wearing fake anything! A useful link; http://www.sindhiassociation.org.uk/lin ... ciation UK

From, Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000 By Mark-Anthony Falzon. Brill Academic Publishers (August 2004 - see Google Books). Another book helping to give adherents of the Brahma Kumari sect insight into the culture from which it came. Interestingly, Dada Vaswani was the holy man that sided with the so-called Anti-Party during the Om Mandli days.
Mark-Anthony Falzo wrote:One last form of "investment" by Sindhis in Bombay is charity, which is widespread and generally high profile. ... The many devotions that SIndhis follow also benefit from patronage. The Dada Vaswani mission, Brahma Kumaris, and the Satya Sai Baba ashram are major recipients. "Donors get blessings and publicity from this", one Sindhi told ome, "there is the idea that charity leads to prosperity - it is seen as a way to make an easy buck, as well as to avoid income tax".

Some Sindhis half-jokingly told me that wealthy Sindhis took to charity "in order to appease their guilt". To my mind there is some truth to this in the sense that, being a diasporic community and therofre "outsiders in their various locations (including India), they are concerned to be seen as integrated rather than parastic money-makers. Charity, in other words, is one way of overcoming the difficult relation between business and the state which is not exclusive to the Indian context ... photographs I was shown in the field of Sindhis donating cheques to politicians and charitable trusts may ber ead as a literal portrayal of the coming together of private enterprise and the state. On another level, charity, like dowry, is one way of expressing one's worth and success as an entrepreneur.

Hyderabad had ample opportunities for socialisation. The most popular venue with the Sindworkis was the Bhaibund Clud, a Victorian-style gentlemen's club with a bar, billiards tables, lounges and a dining area. Many Sindworkis and especially the bosses used to spend their evenings socialising at the club particularly if they happened to have just returned from an overseas trip Hyderabad also had a Rotary Club and at least one Masonic Lodge. ... Although women (with a few exceptions) weere generally ot involved in trade, they ahd by inference and through conversations with their husbands and sons a considerable knowledge of business practice.

Markovits has argued that the reluctance of women to join their menfolk may have had something to do with the maintenance of the family's ritual purity, researchers [are] puzzled by the apparent ambiguity between notions of the sea as a ritual polluting element which travel is to be avoided.

Extended families of married brothers [lived] together under one roof and eating from the same kitchen.

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 30 Aug 2008

New Sindhi film “The Awakening” made its international preview in Dubai. Directed by Dharambir Kumar, it traces the lineage of the Sindhis from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. Its based on a fictitious story about a New York-based girl called Sindhu and how, while doing her research on the Indus Valley Civilization, she discovers her Sindhi roots.
  • "Partition was the last nail in the coffin!"
Through the eyes of the girl born and brought up in New York and her Mumbai-based grandmother, who steadfastly holds on to her Sindhi heritage, the movie sees the community's evolution and the subsequent travails, a large section of its members faced following the partition of India.

The movie dramatizes the events that led to large-scale migration of the Sindhis from their base, losing touch with their roots, and how the close-knit community later disintegrated.
Not a documentary but a drama. Lots of, "Oh my Gods", tight t-shirted love and romance ... some big dance scenes (of course) and a view into the rich socialite culture.

See also a different website; SindhiSangat.com

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Re: The difference between Sindhis and Hindis

Post by fluffy bunny » 30 Aug 2008

Anti-Sindhi sentiments after a US based Sindhi couple were found guilty of torturing their foreign domestic workers.

For example;
The Shabnani family is a "Sindhi" family. "Sindhi" is, shall we say a tribe of community of Indians, whose surnames or last names mostly ends with "ani", examples : Chatlani, Daryanani, Keswani, Khemlani, etc. The Sindhi community is generally a business community and wherever in the world, if they have expatriate labour (which they keep illegally, without work permits), they treat their employees like slaves and ill-treat them. It is just that in this case, the Shabnani's have got caught, but generally all Sindhis are just like the Shabnani's. Well done USA authorities for catching the Shabnani' : I really hope that the Shabnani's get hanged to death.
Among Indians, Sindhis are a particularly nasty breed who do pretty much anything to get what they want. We are all ashamed of Sindhis and wish they had not come from Pakistan
I really wish that all descendents of Sindhis who migrated to India from Pakistan are all kicked out of India after being stripped of their Indian nationality. Sindhis are always a nuisance irrespective of where ever they are.

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