In Aden (Yemen), in the Terai of Nepal, and Pakistan, ? – 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, approximately 933.104 grams (approximately 2.057 pounds av).¹ ² This unit is derived from the Government seer of British colonial days, which = 2²/₃₅ pounds avoirdupois.
In the hills of Nepal, about 800 grams.
For its relation to other units in Pakistan, see the chart: .
In India, the act³ which established the metric system in India in 1956 defined the seer as exactly 0.93310 kilogram.
Besides the Government seer, there were many local seers in India, for example:
|Locale||Equivalents||mass in grams|
|Bengal||80 tolas of rice|
|seer = ¹⁄₄₀th factory maund||846.69|
|seer = ¹⁄₄₀th bazaar maund
Courtesy Rick Willis.
|Angrezi seer (after 1833)||¹⁄₄₀th of 100 troy pounds||933.04|
|Southern India (cutcha seer)||mass of 24 current rupees||267.62|
|Madras (pukka seer)||= 80 tolas||933.10|
|= 2 pounds avoir.||907.18|
|Juggerat||mass of 40 local rupees|
|Mumbai (Bombay) and Gujerat||¹⁄₄₀th maund||317.51|
1. United Nations, 1966.
2. Technical Conversion Factors…, 1972. Aden, page 350.
3. Standards of Weights and Measures Act (No. 89 of 1956, amended in 1960 and 1964). See the First Schedule.
Ser, commonly, but incorrectly, Seer, corruptly, Saer, H[indi]. &c. (, from the S[anskrit]. , Setaka) A measure of weight, varying in different parts of India, and for different articles, but generally reckoned in Bengal at eighty tolas, or Sicca weight, or as one-fortieth of a man or maund : as the fortieth of the former Bázár maund the standard Ser was = avoirdupois weight 2 lb. 0 oz. 13.863 dr. and of the Factory maund 1 lb. 13 oz. 13.860 dr. In 1833 a slight change was made in the value of the man, thence known as the Angrezi or English maund, by which the proportionate value of the Ser became, in avoirdupois weight, 2 lb. 0 oz. 14.592 dr. : the Tamil Sèr ( ) is reckoned equal to eight palams, while a larger or pakká sèr ( ) is equal to 24 palams. See Palam. On the west of India the Surat Ser is said to be equal to avoirdupois weight 1 lb. or 16 oz., and the Bombay Ser to 13 oz. only.
H. H. Wilson, 1855, page 474.
Similiarly the pukka seer is generally considered 2 lb., though its weight is usually intended to be 80 tolahs, or 2.057193 lb.
Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency…
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
1 seer = 0.80 kg (Hills)
1 seer = 0.93 kg (Terai)
Rice Almanac 2002.
Formerly in Hindustán, the sér weighed 18 and in some places 22 dám. In the beginning of His Majesty's reign [Akbar the Great took the throne in 1556-ed.] it was current at 28 and is now fixed at 30, each dám being 5 Táṇk. In the transactions in coral and camphor the dám was reckoned at 5½ Táṇk, but the price of these articles having fallen, it is valued at five only. The weights in ordinary use are ⅛, ¼, ½ of a ser; 1, 2, 5, 10 sér; ½, 1 man which consists of 40 sér.
Abul Fazl 'Allami.
H.S. Jarrett, trans.
The Ain I Akbari.Vol II, Book 3.
Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1891.
There is no uniform system of weights and measures in Muzaffarpur: The standard seer of 80 tolās is recognized in the municipalities and in large trade marts, but in the villages the kachchā seer is used, i.e., a seer equivalent to either 48 or 52 tolās; occasionally also a seer of 56 or 64 tolās is used.
L. S. S. O'Malley.
Bengal District Gazetters.
Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, 1907.
In Afghanistan , ? – 21st century, a unit of mass, approximately 7.066 kilograms (approximately 15.58 pounds avoirdupois).
United Nations, 1966.
Technical Conversion Factors..., 1972, page 77.
Yields ranged from between 40 and 80 seer/jerib (one seer equivalent to around seven kilogrammes) depending on the quality of soil and the availability of water, compared to 100-130 seer/jerib in the canal command area.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Counter-narcotics efforts and their effects in Nangarhar and Helmand in the 2010-11 growing season.
Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit Case Study Series.
Kabul: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, October 2011.
This publication can be downloaded from the organization's website (www.areu.org.af).
[Farsi] In Iran (Persia) , 20ᵗʰ century, two units of mass:
In Ceylon, a measure of capacity, about 1.86 imperial pint. In colonial times² the seer was the volume of a cylinder 4.35 inches deep and 4.35 inches in diameter, which is about 64.648 cubic inches, or 1.06 liters or 1.86 imperial pints.
Standards of Weights and Measures Act (No. 89 of 1956, amended in 1960 and 1964)
2. Robert Montgomery Martin.
History of the Colonies of the British Empire in the West Indies, South America, North America, Asia...
London: W. H. Allen & Co. and George Routledge, 1843.
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