Introduction / History
The Mal of India are cultivators. Some of them are village watchmen. The word Mal means soldiers.
In Bihar, the Mal speak Hindi and read and write in Devanagari. They are not vegetarians. They eat rice as their main cereal and have vegetables also. They are endogamous, which means they prefer to marry within their ethnic community. Divorce and marrying again is allowed among them. Inheritance on the death of the father goes to the sons with the oldest son becoming in charge of the home. The women help the men with financial matters. Young boys herd cows. There are marriage rituals and a death pollution period. A community council controls social matters. Most of the Mal are laborers with no land of their own. They are Hindus and have their own community festivals.
In West Bengal, many of the Mal live in the Birbhum region but live in most parts of the state. They are a Scheduled Caste. They do not eat beef or pork. The Mal there are similar to the Mal living in Bihar but they speak, read and write in Bengali.
The Mal have a low literacy level which means the gospel needs to be given in oral form too.
* Pray that God gives the Mal dreams and visions leading them to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that the community leaders among them will come to Jesus Christ and lead the other Mal to salvation also.
Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999
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