Balti people

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Balti women wearing traditional dress in Khaplu, Baltistan.

The Baltis or Baltipa, also known as Balti Tibetans or Bhotia, are a group of people native to the Baltistan region of Gilgit−Baltistan, Pakistan.[1] They speak the Balti language, which is an old form of Tibetan. It has sounds lost in modern Tibetan dialects. It is closely related to other Tibetic languages like Ladakhi and Purgi.[2]

Before Islam came to Baltistan in the 14th century, Baltis followed Bön and Tibetan Buddhism. Islam spread through Sufi missionaries, and by the 17th century, most Baltis converted. Some later became Shia, Sunni, or followed Noorbakshia Sufi Islam. Despite converting, Baltis still practice Bön and Tibetan Buddhist rituals, making their culture unique in Pakistan. The Balti language is conservative, closer to Classical Tibetan.[3]

Religious gatherings in mosques and Sufi Khanqahs are vital for Baltis. Khanqahs, introduced by early Sufi saints, help students achieve spiritual purity through training. Mosques in Baltistan have Tibetan architecture, and some in Kargil have Mughal style decorations. Today, about 60% of Baltis are Shia Muslims, 30% follow Noorbakshia Sufi Islam, and 10% are Sunni Muslims.[4][5]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Project, Joshua. "Balti in Pakistan". Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  2. Pushp, Prithvi N., ed. (1996). Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh: linguistic predicament. New Delhi: Har-Anand Publ. ISBN 978-81-241-0345-6.
  3. "Little Tibet: Renaissance and Resistance in Baltistan". Himal Southasian. 1998-04-30. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  4. "THE NURBAKHSHI RELIGION IN BALTISTAN — Baltistan Fundazioa". 2019-06-03. Archived from the original on 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  5. Bakshi, Shiri Ram (2009). Kashmir: political problems. Kashmir Through Ages (reprint ed.). New Delhi: Sarup. ISBN 978-81-85431-96-3.