Introduction / History
The Saini of India live in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, the Punjab, Chandigarh and in Delhi. They are also called Mali. They are in agriculture and horticulture by tradition.
The Saini speak in the languages of the states where they live. They read and write in Devanagari In Himachal Pradesh, the Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi, they speak mainly Punjabi and read and write in Gurumukhi. They also speak in Hindi.
The main work of the Saini is crop farming and also the management of farm animals is important to them in earning a living. In some states they are gardeners. Most are landowners but in Haryana most lease their land for cultivation of it. More are now becoming shopkeepers like having grocery shops, others have small manufacturing businesses and others have government jobs. Some of the Saini are notable scientists, professors and work in defense.
The Saini have a good literacy level. They have their own education organizations too. They use modern medicine as well as local and they do family planning.
The Saini are endogamous which means they marry only in social boundaries. They do marry among clans and between villages. Adult marriages through agreement by discussion is the usual way. Monogamy is usual but polygamy is allowed in case the mother cannot have children. A dowry is given. Divorce does not happen often but is allowed. Divorcees and the bereaved can marry again. Property is inherited through the male lineage only and all sons get the same with the oldest son becoming in charge of the home.
The Saini women as well as doing the housework help on the family farms for example. Women who are educated work for government and private organizations. They also take part in religious and social matters.
The Saini have their own assemblies that see to the needs of the people. They settle family and land problems and cases involving divorce and adultery for example.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Most of the Saini follow the Hindu religion and they worship the main Hindu gods and goddesses. They believe in exorcisms. The Saini celebrate festivals such as Diwali and Holi. They particularly regard Shoorsain Jayanti which is the birthday of King Shoorsain, on the 22nd. of December each year. They worship ancestors too.
They cremate their dead and get rid of the ashes in a river with the Ganges at Haridwar being the favorite one. Brahmin priests do the lifetime rituals.
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