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|Regions with significant populations|
|• Pakistan • India|
|• Urdu • Hindi • Awadhi|
|• Islam 100%|
History and origin
They specialise in baking fermented loaves, and are known to be experts in preparing tandoori breads, known as naans. This special type of baked bread is referred to as a Nan. The word Nanbai is from Persian نانوا Nānvā, meaning baker. The community is said to have evolved from the families of the cooks at the courts of the various Muslim rulers of North India.
The Nanbai specialize in cooking and baking. Many are also involved in the running of tea stalls, while some have taken to rickshaw pulling, an activity in which a good number of Muslim artisan communities are now involved.
The Nanbai are an endogamous community, but have no system of gotras. They perceive themselves to be forming part of the Shaikh community. The Nanbai are Muslims of the Sunni sect. They are found mainly in the districts of Lukhnow, Faizabad, Barabanki, Kanpur, Aligarh and Moradabad, mainly found in urban areas. They speak Urdu and Hindi.