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Siddi people

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Siddi, Sheedi
Siddi people in Karachi, Pakistan.
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan250,000–1 million[1][2][3]
Sindhi, Gujarati, Swahili, Balochi, Urdu
Mainly Sunni Islam

The Siddi, also called Sheedi, are a group of people living mainly in southern Pakistan, in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. They are one of two major Black ethnic groups in Pakistan, the other being Makranis.[4] They originally come from the Bantu communities in Southeast Africa and Ethiopia. Many of them arrived in the subcontinent through the Indian Ocean Slave Trade, while others came as traders, sailors, servants, and soldiers. There are now more than a million Siddis in Pakistan and a smaller group of about 50,000 in India. Pakistan has the largest diaspora of Africans in South Asia.[5]

The Siddi population mostly has roots in the Bantu peoples of Southeast Africa who were brought to the Indo-Pak subcontinent as slaves. Most of them became Muslims, and a few became Christians. First Siddis are believed to have arrived in Sindh with the Arab army of Muhammad Bin Qasim during the Islamic conquest of the Sindh in 712 CE. They were known as Zanjis.[6]

Culture & Religion[change | change source]

The Siddi people's culture reflects both their long presence in South Asia and their East African origins. Siddi women wear traditional African clothing, and Siddi men wear Shalwar kameez along with their unique clothing. While they have adapted to the local culture, they still practice some traditions, especially in music and dance. Siddis generally marry within their own communities, and it's uncommon for them to marry outside.[7]

Sports play a significant role in the Siddi community, providing youth with opportunities and an escape from poverty and discrimination.[8]

Many Siddis follow the Islamic faith, with a particular reverence for the Sindhi saint Pir Mangho. An annual festival, known as Pir Mangho Urs, is held at the saint's shrine, where 100 crocodiles are fed as part of the celebration.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. https://behanbox.com/2020/09/03/first-african-pakistani-lawmaker-fights-discrimination-to-rise-up-in-politics-interview-with-tanzeela-qambrani/
  2. https://minorityrights.org/minorities/sheedis-2/
  3. Paracha, Nadeem (26 August 2018), "Smokers’ corner: Sindh's African roots ", Dawn.
  4. Tanzeela Qambrani. "The two largest communities of people of African descent in Pakistan" (PDF). ohchr.org. Retrieved 26 Nov 2023.
  5. "The African Diaspora in Pakistan". American Pakistan Foundation. 2020-09-21. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  6. Pandya, Yatin; Rawal, Trupti (2002). The Ahmedabad Chronicle, Imprints of a Millennium. Vastu Shilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design.
  7. "Filmmaker Inspired to Make Documentary About Siddi Tribe". National Geographic Society. 2021-03-04. Archived from the original on 2021-03-04. Retrieved 2023-11-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. "Meet the fast disappearing community of Indians and Pakistanis of African origin". Quartz. 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  9. "Marsh crocodiles at Mangho Pir in Karachi, Pakistan". Sara Kuehn. Retrieved 2023-11-26.

Other websites[change | change source]