South Asian ethnic groups


South Asian ethnic groups

The ethno-linguistic composition of the population of South Asia, that is the nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka is highly diverse. The majority of the population fall within two large Linguistic groups, Indo-Aryan and Dravidian.[1]

These groups are further subdivided into numerous sub-groups, castes and tribes. Indo-Aryans form the predominant ethno-linguistic group in Northern India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Dravidians form the predominant ethno-linguistic group in southern India and the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka, and a small pocket in Pakistan. Iranian peoples, grouped with Indo-Aryans in the Indo-Iranian language group, also have a significant presence in South Asia, the large majority of whom are located in Pakistan, with heavy concentrations in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Dardic peoples form a minority among the Indo-Aryans. They are classified as belonging to the Indo-Aryan language group,[2] though sometimes they are also classified as external to the Indo-Aryan branch.[3] They are found in northern Pakistan (Northern Areas and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) and in Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Minority groups not falling within either large group mostly belong to the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman language families, most of whom live around North-East India, Nepal, and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh. The Andamanese (Sentinel, Onge, Jarawa, Great Andamanese) live on some of the Andaman Islands and speak a language isolate, as do the Kusunda in central Nepal,[4] the Vedda in Sri Lanka, and the Nihali of central India, who number about 5000 people. The people of the Hunza valley in Pakistan are another distinct population. They speak Burushaski, a language isolate.

The traditions of different ethnic groups in South Asia have diverged, influenced by external cultures, especially in the northwestern parts of South Asia (where Turkic and Iranian peoples have had much influence) and in the border regions and busy ports, where there are greater levels of contact with external cultures. This is particularly true for many ethnic groups in the northeastern parts of South Asia who are ethnically and culturally related to peoples of the Far East. The largest ethno-linguistic group in South Asia are the Indo-Aryans, numbering around 1 billion, and the largest sub-group are the native speakers of Hindi languages, numbering more than 470 million.

Contents

List of ethnic groups on the basis of language

Indo-Aryan

People who speak an Indo-Aryan language.

The extent of Indo-Aryan languages in the Indian subcontinent

Most of the North Indian population is of Indo-Aryan descent. The Ra1a1 gene haplotype is found in at least 50% of the populations from North/East India to Central Asia and Eastern Europe.


Iranian peoples

Extent of Iranian languages in south and southwestern Asia
  • Balochi people
  • Hazaras
  • Pashtun people
  • Lohani (Pashtun ethnic group)
  • Tajik people

Dardic peoples

Note: The Dardic languages are largely seen as Indo-Aryan, but are sometimes seen as a separate Indo-Iranian branch.

Dravidian peoples

The extent of Dravidian languages in the Indian subcontinent

Austro-Asiatic peoples

Tibeto-Burman peoples

Red: Sino-Tibetan languages Light green: Indo-European languages Blue: Dravidian languages Dark Green: Altaic Languages Grey: 3 groups; Japonic {possibly Altaic}, Koreanic, {possibly Altaic}, and Indochinese languages Pink: Austronesian languages Dark Pink: Austro-Asiatic languages.

Turko-Mongol peoples

Austronesian peoples

Semitic peoples

Tai peoples

  • Ahom people
  • Tai Aiton
  • Tai Khampti
  • Tai Phake or Tai Phakial
  • Tai Turung

European/Eurasian peoples

Afro-Asian

Linguistically isolate groups

Diaspora

Many South Asian ethnic groups and nationalities have substantial diasporas outside of South Asia.

See also Punjabi diaspora, Bangladeshi diaspora, Tamil diaspora, Pakistani diaspora, Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora and Indian diaspora.

Two (or possibly three) other people groups have ethnic and linguistic ties with the region:

See also

National demographics:

References

  1. ^ According to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/region/region_sas.html (retrieved on October 2010), 98% of the population of Bengladesh are Bengali (Indo-Aryan), 72% of the population of India are Indo-Aryan and 25% are Dravidian, 44.68% of the population of Pakistan are Punjabi and 14.1% are Sindhi (two Indo-Aryan populations), and 73.8% of the population of Sri Lanka are Sinhalese (Indo-Aryan). Given the fact that India, Pakistan, Bengladesh and Sri Lanka represent a huge mass of population (1 508 851 998) compared to Afghanistan, Buthan, Nepal and the Maldives (58 051 568), the majority of the population of South Asia are Indo-Aryan or Dravidian. Moreover, Nepal and Bhutan probably have an important part of their populations which are also Indo-Aryan. Feel free to check.
  2. ^ G. Morgenstierne Irano-Dardica. Wiesbaden 1973; Morgenstierne, G. Indo-Iranian frontier languages. (Instituttet for Sammenlignende Kulturforskning. Publ. ser. B: Skrifter, no. 11, 35, 40) Oslo: H. Aschehoug, 1929 sqq, reprint Oslo 1973,C. Masica The Indo-Aryan languages, New York 1991, p. 21; R.L. Trail and G.R. Cooper, Kalasha Dictionary, Islamabad & High Wycombe 1999 p. xi; The Indo-Aryan languages, edited by George Cardona and Dhanesh Jain. London, New York : Routledge, 2003
  3. ^ G.A. Grierson, The Pisaca Languages of North-Western India,Asiatic Society, London, 1906, repr. Delhi 1969, p. 4-6; still repeated in: History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Ahmad Hasan Dani, Vadim Mikhaĭlovich Masson, János Harmatta, Boris Abramovich Litvinovskiĭ, Clifford, 1999
  4. ^ D.E. Watters, Notes on Kusunda (a language isolate of Nepal), Kathmandu 2005
  5. ^ Yasmin Saikia. Fragmented Memories. http://books.google.com/books?id=p9PkFF3uq_8C&pg=PA5&d. 

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