Introduction / History
Of the five major castes in India (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra and Harijans), the Nai are a sub-caste of the Shudra. The Shudra are just above the Harijan or the Untouchable caste. They have low status, mainly because they have been polluted by “dead” materials, namely hair. The same goes for those who deal with hides and meat.
Where Are they Located?
There are Nai communities in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The greatest number by far live in India.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Nai are associated with the barber profession. As they did traditionally, the Nai groom clients, such as cutting hair and nails and provide minor medical services like extracting teeth and setting sprains right. They also perform duties in connection with marriage, matchmaking and celebrations. Nai women, called 'Naun', are hairdressers, henna artists and midwives. A large-scale occupational change is taking place with many Nai taking up other trades and professions in modern India.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The diet of the Nai usually consists of wheat, rice, lentil, maize and some seasonal fruit. For those eating meat the occasional fish, mutton or chicken and eggs are part of the menu.
The literacy rate of the Nai is low. Many leave school due to poverty or from a lack of schools or colleges nearby.
The traditional extended family is still common among the Hindu Nai people in Pakistan. Sons inherit equal shares in the family property and the eldest succeeds as head of the family.
The Nai are Hindus, even those in Muslim Pakistan. They give special prominence to their regional deities. The Nai believe in evil spirits who, along with local deities, cause trouble and diseases. Community exorcists-cum-witch doctors are common in their communities.
What Are Their Needs?
The Nai need to advance economically. They need increased access to education, particularly for females. They also need accessible medical facilities.
* Scripture Prayers for the Nai (Hindu traditions) in Pakistan.
* Pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Hindu Nai people in Pakistan.
* Pray for a movement of Hindu Nai households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive Hindu Nai people to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Nai people.