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The Bania (otherwise known as Baniya,Vaniya, Vani , Vania and Vanya) is an occupational community of merchants, bankers, money-lenders, dealers in grains or in spices, and in modern times numerous commercial enterprises. The term is used in a wider sense in Bengal than it is elsewhere in India, where it is applied to specific castes.[2]

A Goan Bania, early 1880s
Hindi, Marwari, Punjabi, Gujarati, Dialects of Marathi and Konkani.[1]


Etymologically related groupsEdit

A traditional Bania

In western India one merchant occupational group is called Vani or Vania; in Bengal the term is applied to all people who are involved in moneylending and similar activities.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gazetteer of the Union Territory Goa, Daman and Diu: district gazetter by Vithal Trimbak Gune, Goa, Daman and Diu (India). Gazetteer Dept, published by Gazetteer Dept., Govt. of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu, 1979
  2. ^ a b Schrader, Heiko (1997). Changing financial landscapes in India and Indonesia: sociological aspects of monetization and market integration. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 68. ISBN 978-3-8258-2641-3. Retrieved 2012-02-09.

Further readingEdit

  • Cheesman, David (1982). "'The Omnipresent Bania:' Rural Moneylenders in Nineteenth-Century Sind". Modern Asian Studies. 16 (3): 445–462. JSTOR 312116. (Subscription required (help)).
  • Metcalf, Thomas R. (December 1962). "The British and the Moneylender in Nineteenth-Century India". The Journal of Modern History. 34 (4): 390–397. JSTOR 1880056. (Subscription required (help)).