Introduction / History
Tucked away in the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh are the Rathi people. They believe that their origins are from Rathor, a Rajput clan. They speak Gadiali, a language which belongs to the Pahari group of the Indo-Aryan languages.
They earned their livelihood from agriculture and by rearing sheep. Women are also good weavers. The Rathi are non-vegetarian, and their staple cereals are maize, wheat and rice. Consumption of alcohol is common among the men.
Marriages are decided through negotiation and exchange. Polygamy is allowed, if the first wife does not bear a child. The Rathi usually live in extended families. Inter-community marriages are not encouraged by them. The dead are cremated and their ashes immersed in the river Ganga at Hardwar. However, children who die below the age of five are buried.
The Rathi worship various deities and some gods and goddesses of the wider Hindu pantheon. They share wells and other sources of crematoria, and visit the same religious shrines and participate in fairs and festivals with other communities of their area. Marriages, births, fairs and festivals are special occasions when they perform their own forms of music, dance and song.
* For the salvation of the Rathi people and that God may send several Christian workers to work among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
* That they may leave idol worship and animism.
* For the Rathi men to be freed from alcohol addiction.
|Profile Source: India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar Copyrighted © Used with permission|