Land and People

Sonitpur District Assam India

Land and People


People

The major communities inhabiting the District are:The Assamese. The majority people inhabiting the District are Assamese. They are among the original inhabitants of the place, and the typical culture of the place grew with them.

Language~ Assamese.

Religion~ While a majority of them follow Hindu religion, a significant portion of them are also Muslims. A few of them are also adherents of Sikhism, Christianity, and Buddhism.

Caste~ Prominent castes among the Assamese include Brahmins, Kalitas, Baishya, Koch, Ahoms, Yogis, the Scheduled Castes, et al.

Religion~ While a majority of them follow Hindu religion, a significant portion of them, especially the tribes, are Buddhists.

The Bengalis: The Bengali community came from erstwhile undivided Bengal, as officials and clerks of the British administration and the Tea Industry; and stayed back. Later, on account of the partition of India, people coming as refugees added significantly to the community. Language~ They speak Bengali, a language of the Indo-Aryan family. Of course, they use Assamese as a lingua franca.They follow the Hindu religion.

The Nepalis: The Nepali community is fairly dominant in the central and southern part of the District. Language~ They speak Nepali, a language of the Indo-Aryan family. Of course, they use Assamese as a lingua franca. Religion~ While a majority of them follow Hindu religion, a significant portion of them, especially the tribes, are Buddhists.

The Adivasis ( Tea-Tribes): The Adivasi people were brought by the British from Chotanagpur area and Orissa to serve as labourers in the Tea Gardens. In course of time, they assimilated themseves in the greater Assamese society, while retaining their basic cultural traits. The Jhumur dance is their contribution to the culture of Assam. Language~ They have adopted Assamese as their language, but have retained the language of their forefathers. Religion~ They are Hindus and Christians.

Muslims: The district has a considerable Muslim population. Majority of muslims have immigrated from erstwhile East Bengal (present Bangladesh). They fill up a large portion of riverine areas of the district. Language~ Over the years they have adopted Assamese language.

Tribes :

1. Mishings :The Mishing people live in a scattered manner in the northern part of the Naduar.

2. The Bodos: The Bodo dominated areas include the northern part of Dhekiajuli,Thelamara, Chariduar & Naduar Circle. Language~ They generally speak the Bodo language, belonging to the Sino-Tibetan family. But the Assamese language is the lingua franca for them. Religion~ While a majority of them follows Hindu religion along with its variant forms, a certain portion of them follow Christianity. The Bodos perform Bathow puja. They have their own distinct culture, but many of them have also adopted Assamese ways.

3. Other Tribes: Other major tribes of the District include the Rabhas, Mechs, Nyishis, Garos, Adis, Apatanis, Lamas etc. Their population is sparse, and mainly confined to the foothills of the Himalayas near Arunachal Pradesh. Language~ They speak either their tribal language, or their variant of Assamese. Of course, they use Assamese as a lingua franca. Religion~ The Rabhas and Mechs follow Hindu religion; Lamas and Nyishis are Buddhists; Garos are Christians; Adis and Apatanis either follow their traditional form of religion .

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