Map: India's ethno-linguistic map

Curzon was surprised to find a "little" 'buffer' state Nepal with 6 major ethnic groups. Nepal is actually not that small. It has 27.7M people (higher than Taiwan's 23M), 147 sq. km in area (4x Taiwan). Wiki names 12 major groups, with the total being 103 including caste groups. There are 90 languages/dialects.

Nepal's demographic, is actually very similar that of India's. Both being Hindu, its caste system problem also 'helped' to establish more genetic walls after thousands of years of segregation.

Look at India's map here, according wiki

  • India has 19 languages each spoken by over 10M people
  • "The official figure of 'mother tongues' spoken in India is 1,683, of which an estimated 850 are in daily use. The SIL Ethnologue lists 387 living languages for India."

Nepal's population is about 1/40 of India's. its number of language about 1/19. The scaling makes sense.


Anonymous said...

"Nepal's demographic, is actually very similar that of India's. Both being Hindi" - Not really true.

Though you can find most of the ethnic groups found in Nepal in India, the other ways round in not true. There are several groups in the north-east,the south and in the nicobar islands (close to Indonesia)that are very different. Also the religion in Hindu not Hindi. Hindi is the language.

Sun Bin said...

Yes, that was a simple comparison, and thanks for the correction.