Introduction / History
The large majority of the Hindu Vannan people live in South India. A smaller group lives on the island of Sri Lanka. The traditional occupation of the Vannan people was washing clothes. This job is disappearing as more washing machines become available in India and Sri Lanka.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The main sources of income in Sri Lanka are tourism, the export of Ceylon tea and rice, textiles, and the export of minerals including titanium ore. The Vannan tend to marry within their group but marriage with other Tamil groups in Sri Lankan is becoming common. Many Vanna young people leave the rural villages in search of better educational and professional opportunities in the cities. The Vannan are taking advantage of Sri Lanka’s free educational system to earn college degrees and gain new jobs. The Vannan encourage their children to complete high school and attend universities. Some Vannan have become professionals when they get their university degrees. Brahmin priests officiate at important family affairs such as births, weddings and funerals.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Vanna practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. 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 Vanna visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hope of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians do with their heavenly Father. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The main yearly holidays of the Vannan 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 Vannan often celebrate Buddhist holidays. The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories. The Vannan would mostly fit into the worker or Shudra caste.
What Are Their Needs?
The Vannan need to see and understand that Jesus is not another Hindu god or guru. He is the Lord and Savior of the world. The Vannan would benefit by learning new jobs skills. Their children need good schools. Rural Vannan need access to modern medicine and clean water.
Ask the Lord of the harvest would send workers to the Vannan. Pray for a healing of wounds among the Vannan from the Sri Lankan war. Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Vannan of Sri Lanka in this decade. Pray that Tamil Bibles and Christian literature get into the hands of the Vannan.
Scripture Prayers for the Vannan (Hindu traditions) in Sri Lanka.