Introduction / History
The Bazigar or Goaar live in north central India. Their name comes from the Urdu word "bazi" which means acrobat. The traditional occupation of the Bazigar was that of being acrobats, dancers, musicians, jugglers and wrestlers. The Bazigar would travel from village to village. They would hire themselves out as farm agricultural laborers. They would also perform at festivals and holidays as dancers, drummers and acrobats. They would perform for Hindu, Muslim and Sikh villages.
Where Are they Located?
Today less than one out of five Bazigars engage in the itinerate lifestyle. Most have settled down and work in agriculture. They still like to dance, sing, play music and do feats of strength and agility. The Bazigars have been classified as a Scheduled Caste due to their low level of education. In 1981, only 11% of the Bazigar could read and write. Illiteracy continues to be a problem for them today.
The primary language of the Bazigar is Eastern Punjabi. They also speak Hindi.
The Sikh Bazigar live in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajastan and Haryana.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Most Bazigar now work in agriculture as laborers. They also work as
What Are Their Beliefs?
shopkeepers, public officials and grocers. They raise goats and sheep for their meat and milk. Most do not eat beef or pork. Many Bazigar still have musical and athletic skills, which they perform at important family events and holidays.
The Bazigar marry within their community. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit property with the eldest son gaining possession of the family home. Caste councils promote their interests and settle legal disputes.
If you were to ask a Sikh Bazigar what his or her religion is, they would say Hindu. They believe that Sikhism is a sub category of Hinduism. Sikhism originated from a 15th century teacher named Guru Nanak Dev. He rejected the Hindu caste system, taught all people were equal and that all have equal access to God. The Sikh God is formless, without gender and to be found in everyone. One gets closer to God by living a good life and by practicing charity. Like Hindus, Sikhs believe in reincarnation and the law of karma, you reap what you sow in your previous life. A Sikh is no permitted to use alcohol, tobacco or any illegal drugs. One can recognize a Sikh man by his turban. All the Sikh gurus wore turbans. Sikh teaching mandates that a person not cut his or her hair.
What Are Their Needs?
The Sikh Bazigar need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way the can understand. They need help in educating their children. They need to see Christianity lived out before them in practical ways.
Pray that the Lords sends workers to the Bazigar to tell them about Jesus and His love for them.
Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Bazigar families and communities into a rich experience of God's blessings.
Pray the Bazigar people will understand that Jesus desires to bless their families and communities, not harm them.
Scripture Prayers for the Bazigar (Sikh traditions) in India.