Introduction / History
The 4,400 Gardi people of Jammu and Kashmir are a community of professional musicians. On the surface, they appear to be like the better known Jogis, but the latter sing in Hindu places of worship, whereas the Gardis sing at both religious and social functions. They make their own musical instruments of one or two strings. The men sing folk songs that may be romantic or religious in nature. They also do public narrations of folk tales about royals or some martial race in their region. They speak Dogri, one of the main languages in their part of northern India.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Gardi girls get married on the average at age 18, and their boys marry at about 22. Most of them have monogamous marriages. Their weddings are solemnized at the bride's residence and the nuptial ceremony is performed at the groom's home. In addition to their domestic duties, Gardi women often work outside the home whether they work in a rural or an urban setting.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Gardi people are branching out into other forms of work such as day labor, animal husbandry, petty business, and government service. In the last couple of decades many Gardi people have acquired land for farming. They prefer modern medical care, but if it's not available in their region, they fall back on traditional medicine. They now have access to clean water, electricity, and post offices.
This is a Hindu people who primarily worship the god Arud because his melodious voice, and because he escorted the powerful Rama during his search for the goddess Sita.
Pray that they will give Jesus their all, so that they will have no room in their hearts of Arud or any other god.