Introduction / History
For hundreds of years the Tirmali had no permanent residence. They performed sacred dramas and danced for Shiva as they moved from one area to another. Their women sold trinkets and traditional medicines. As a result of their lifestyle, they had no civil rights, voting record or schools to educate their children.
Where Are they Located?
The Tirmali are a Scheduled Caste meaning they are eligible for public jobs and special university admissions. The main language of the Tirmali is Marathi. Many Christian resources are available in Marathi. Many Tirmali also speak Hindi.
The Tirmali people are scattered throughout western India. Most live in the state of Maharashtra.
What Are Their Lives Like?
In the early 1990s the elders of the caste decided to change the way the Tirmali people lived. They were given land by the government and became farmers. Slowly they learned their new trade. Their children began attending school and a few have become college graduates.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Tirmali marry within their group. Families arrange marriages. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Sons inherit the property of their father. A caste council of elders settles legal disputes and promotes their interests.
The main foods of the Tirmali are rice, maize, wheat, vegetables, fruit and dairy products. As Hindus, they will not eat beef.
The Tirmali people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve selected gods of the Hindu pantheon. The Tirmali pay particular devotion to Shiva, the destroyer god. The Tirmali offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits.
What Are Their Needs?
The main yearly holidays of the Tirmali 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 Tirmali need help in increasing the crop yield of their land. Many lack access to modern medicine. They need to see Christianity demonstrated to them in practical ways. Most of all, they need to hear and understand the message about Jesus Christ. He alone can show them the way to the Father.
* Scripture Prayers for the Tirmali in India.
* Pray for networks of believing Tirmali families and fellowships that will throw the doors open for others to follow Jesus.
* Pray for the Lord to bless the families among the Tirmali people with His presence and mercy.
* Pray for believers among this people group to disciple others who will disciple still others.
* Pray for Bible believing fellowships and churches among the Tirmali people.