Geographical distribution of the major Indo-Aryan languages.
|(approximately 1.21 billion)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|India||Over 856 mil|
|Pakistan||Over 164 mil[not in citation given]|
|Bangladesh||Over 150 mil|
|Nepal||Over 26 mil|
|Sri Lanka||Over 14 mil|
|Burma||Over 1 mil|
|Indian religions (Mostly Hindu; with Sikh, Buddhist and Jain minorities) and Islam, some non-religious atheist/agnostic and Christians|
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Indo-Aryan peoples are a diverse Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of peoples who speak Indo-Aryan languages. The Indo-Aryan languages belong to the Indo-European language family. Today, there are over one billion native speakers of Indo-Aryan languages, most of them native to South Asia, where they form the majority.
The Indo-European languages were introduced into northern India by Indo-Aryans. The Indo-Aryan migration theory[note 1] explains the introduction of the Indo-Aryan languages in the Indian subcontinent by proposing a migration from Sintashta culture through Bactria-Margiana Culture and into northern Indian subcontinent (modern day India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan). These migrations started approximately 1,800 BCE, after the invention of the war chariot, and also brought Indo-Aryan languages into the Levant and possibly Inner Asia. It was part of the diffusion of Indo-European languages from the proto-Indo-European homeland at the Pontic steppe, a large area of grasslands in far Eastern Europe, which started in the 5th to 4th millennia BCE, and the Indo-European migrations out of the Eurasian steppes, which started approximately 2,000 BCE.
The theory posits that these Indo-Aryan speaking people may have been a genetically diverse group of people who were united by shared cultural norms and language, referred to as aryā, "noble." Diffusion of this culture and language took place by patron-client systems, which allowed for the absorption and acculturalisation of other groups into this culture, and explains the strong influence on other cultures with which it interacted.The Proto-Indo-Iranians, from which the Indo-Aryans developed, are identified with the Sintashta culture (2100–1800 BCE), and the Andronovo culture, which flourished ca. 1800–1400 BCE in the steppes around the Aral sea, present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The proto-Indo-Iranians were influenced by the Bactria-Margiana Culture, south of the Andronovo culture, from which they borrowed their distinctive religious beliefs and practices. The Indo-Aryans split off around 1800-1600 BCE from the Iranians, whereafter the Indo-Aryans migrated into the Levant and north-western India.
List of Indo-Aryan peoples
- Assamese people
- Bengali people
- Bihari people
- Dom people
- Garhwali people
- Gujarati people
- Khas people
- Koli people
- Konkani people
- Kumaoni people
- Dhivehi people
- Marathi people
- Oriya people
- Punjabi people
- Romani people
- Rohingya people
- Saraiki people
- Sinhalese people
- Sindhi people
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Ethnographic investigations show that the original Indo-Aryan people were described in the Hindu epics — a tall, fair-complexioned, long-headed race, with narrow, prominent noses, broad shoulders, long arms, slim waists "like a lion," and thin legs like a deer — is now (as it was in the earliest times) mostly confined to Kashmir, the Panjab and Rajputana, and represented by the Khattris, Jats, and Rajputs.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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The Indo-Aryan type, occupying the Punjab, Rajputana, and Kashmir, and having as its characteristic members the Rajputs, Khatris, and Jats. This type approaches most closely to that ascribed to the traditional Aryan colonists of India.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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