Monday, May 4, 2020

Sundi or Sunri Vaishya or Saha vaishya

Sundi or Sunri Vaishya or Saha vaishya 

ORIGN:Sundi or Sunri vaishya  people were known a Shaundika, Sundika and Shaha or Sahu

Sundi might be derivative of the Sanskrit word Shaundika meaning of a “Spirit Seller In the year 1891, Mr. H.H. Risley, mentioned that the sunri, Shaundika and Sundika a large and widely diffused caste found in most Districts of BIHAR, BENGAL and ORISSA whole profession was believed to be the manufacture and sale of Spiritual Liquiors. Some of the references to them were found in different Puranas also. But details are yet to be available.


Some of them have migrated in the past, from BIHAR and BENGAL, particularly to ORISSA and northern parts of ANDHRA, According to the 1981 census their population in Biharand Bengal was 2, 52, 331. They were primarly a Rural based community. The shape and a “ MESOCEPHALIC” Type of Nose.


Many of its members took to mercantile pursuits called themseleves by the title Shaha or Sahu and disowned all connections with those who still followed ther characteristic occupation of the caste.

In Bihar and Bengal a section of Sundis called Saha or Sahu claiming themselves to the “Sadhu Banik” got themselves enlisted seperately during the 1931 census.

They claimed a Vaishya status. However, some Sahus opposed the move, because of certain customs such as not wearing of a sacred thread, Sagotra marriage etc. This elevation of the Sahu’s social position stimulated sundis, particularly those who no longer followed their traditional caste calling to aspire to a higher status.


Sundis or Sondis are purely Non-Vegetarains, but donot take beef or pork. Previously, the sundi women were forbidden from taking chicken and Mutton. They were allowed to eat fish and fish products only. This was a peculiar custom in this particular community only. But in the Present days that restriction was removed and the women are also permitted to eat Mutton, Chicken and Fish.

Their staple cereal is Rice. Some of their male members regularly, take alcholic, drinks, smoke beedis, cigars, cigarettes and chewbetelleaves with Zarda.

Subsequently, SUNDI caste is O.B.C in Orissa. In the Agency areas of Andhra, they are enslisted as “Aboriginal Tribes” and in the remaining plain areas of Andhra, they are considered as Other castes (O.C) Unfortunately, there is no recognition at all, for SONDI caste in Andhra Pradesh.


The SUNDIS were broadly divided into two occupationally distinet sub groups namely SAHA (not connected with distilling) and sahu. The were once Endogamous, but now inter-marry. They were divided into several Exogamous clans such as SandilyaKashyapa, Garga Rishi etc., Earlier they had only one Surname “SAHAor SAHU” But, now due to the changed circumstances in Orissa and Andhra, many have taken to the following surnames in the above States. 


The workdSahugaru, is pronounced as SAHUKARU, SAHUKARA, SAHUKARI in ANDHRA. 
Mogilipuri / Mogili 
Bangaru / Bangarambandi 
Uttarakawata / Uttarala 

“NageswaraGotram” is common to this clan.


In Bihar and Bengal the SUNDI caste practiced community Endogamy barring Marriage within five ascending generations. The marriage age for girls was 15 to 20 years and for Boys was 25 to 28 years. Negotiation was the primary mode of acquiring mate and “Monogamy” was form of marriage.

Dowry was paid both in cash and kind. Marriages were performed at the Bridegroom s resi¬dence.

The main marriage rituals were Asheervad, Panigrahan, Sampradan and Bau-bhat. Conch shell bangles, and vermilion were the marriage symbols for women. After marriage, Women’s resi¬dence was “Patri-Local” Remarriage was permissible for men and women. Divorce was allowed, but its incidence was very rare. The important changes in their society are an increased age at marriage, introduction of dowry, proliferation of nucleus families.

Women help their men in economic activities. The SUNDIS observe pre-natal restrictions on the movement of pregnant women and pre-delivery ritual “sadh-bakshna” was performed. After deliv¬ery, birth pollution was observed and they perform Shantipuja. They observed the first Rice-eating ceremony (Annaprasan).


SUNDIS or SONDIS cremate their dead. Thev observe death and Sharadh rites for eleven days after death, In accordance with the Oriya custom, they offer “Jhol-Jiiola I lands’ in the midnight of the Tenth day after death and their sons carry that big pot to the burial – giound or to a lonely distant place or a tankbund and terminate the big-pot there, and then returns to home in that darkness. They have traditional linkages with Brahmin priest and the barber and dhobi who serve them on every ceremonial accassion.


Sundis profess HINDUISM and many adopt to the SHAIVA faith. They pray to the following deities. 
Religious DeitiesShiva, Durga, Kali, Basumathi. 
Family Deities Laxmi, Narayana, Chandi etc. 
Village Deities :Ammavaru, Manasa 


1) Deepavaii 2) Dasara and 3) Sankranti -Deepavali or Diwaii is the Major festival for Sundis. Every Sundi or Sondi family performs this festival of lights” compulsorily with much devotion. On that day, they remember their deceased parents, grandfathers, and great grandfathers and perform Puja through a Brahmin priest and offer “ Pothara” items to him in the rituals, in memory of the deceased fore-fathers as an annual food for those spirits.


Though, their traditional calling is the distillation of liquor in villages and small towns, all of them are no longer engaged in that. After imposition of prohibition in Andhra, they lost their profession and thrown out of livelihood. Now, most of them who migrated to big Towns and Cities are employed in Trade, Defense Service, Government Service, Private Service and also self-employment. They made good progress in the field of education. There is highly qualified entry working in Foreign Countries also. Family Welfare measures are well accepted by them and generally they prefer having two or three children. They use both indigenous and modern Medicare. They do save and deposit in post office and Banks. They are now in the path of development in all fields.


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