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Like the Punjabi Muslim society, these various castes are associated with particular occupations or crafts.Indian Punjab is also home to small groups of Muslims and Christians.
Religious homogeneity remains elusive as a predominant Sunni population with Shia, Ahmadiyya and Christian minorities.Traditionally, Punjabi identity is primarily linguistic, geographical and cultural.Its identity is independent of historical origin or religion, and refers to those who reside in the Punjab region, or associate with its population, and those who consider the Punjabi language their mother tongue.Some zamindars are further divided into groups such as the Rajputs, Jats, Shaikhs or Muslim Khatris, Gujjars, Awans, Arains and Syeds.People from neighbouring regions, such as Kashmiris, Pashtuns and Baluch, also form sizeable portion of the Punjabi population.The total number of Indian Punjabis is unknown due to the fact that ethnicity is not recorded in the Census of India.
The Sikhs are largely concentrated in the modern-day state of Punjab forming 60% of the population with Hindus forming 39%.
Punjabis are also found in large communities in the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi, located in the Sindh province.
Punjabis in India can be found in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The Hindi-speaking areas were formed into the states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana respectively, leaving a Punjabi speaking majority in the state of Punjab.
In the 1980s, Sikh separatism combined with popular anger against the Indian Army's counter-insurgency operations (especially Operation Bluestar) led to violence and disorder in Indian Punjab, which only subsided in the 1990s.
A variety of related sub-groups exist in Pakistan and are often considered by many Pakistani Punjabis to be simply regional Punjabis including the Seraikis (who overlap and are often considered transitional with the Sindhis).