The Asari people of south India are a subset of the larger Viswakarma caste. The Asari are a caste of artisans and craftsmen who do metal working and make jewelry. They are also involved in the construction trades of carpentry and masonry. They are followers of Vishvakarman, the Hindu god of craftsmen and architects, from whom all Asari claimed to descend from. The Asari caste is found in the Vedas where according to legend they made chariots and weapons for kings and rajas. The jewelry and metal items made by the Asari are often used in Hindu rituals and ceremonies.
The main language of the Asari is Odia. Many also speak Hindi, which allows them to do business with most people from north and central India. The Asari encourage their children to pursue education. Many Asari have graduated from university, speak English and work as professionals.
The Asari people live in Odisha, a state in eastern India.
The Asari see themselves as protectors and purveyors of Hindu traditions. They are known for making sacred objects like bells, cymbals, Hindu idols, and incense holders. Most Asari would fit into India’s middle class today. They are above the laborers and farmers but below large landowners, the Brahmins and rulers. Some Asari claim Brahmin status. Brahmins do not consider them as equals.
The Asari marry with their group both within their clan and with other Asari subgroups. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Urban educated Asari often make their own choses of spouses with the approval of their parents. Sons inherit property with the eldest son becoming head of the family upon his father’s death. Caste councils settle legal disputes and promote their interests.
The Asari practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They consider themselves to be devout Hindus. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Asari visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
The main yearly holidays of the Asari people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.
The Asari need to realize that status in the Hindu system will not get them right with the true God. They must understand that only Jesus Christ will bring them the lasting joy and peace they are seeking. They need to see Christ’s love demonstrated in the lives of believers.
* Scripture Prayers for the Asari in India.
* Pray the Lord moves Indian believers to befriend and share the good news with the Asari.
* Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Asari families and communities into a rich experience of God's blessings.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Ansari people love for God's Word and a desire to spread its influence.
|Profile Source: Keith Carey|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||10 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Specialized Website||South Asia Peoples|
Primary Language: Odia
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|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Odia|
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