Introduction / History
The Chaudhari or Chaudhri are a tribal people who live in the west Indian state of Gujarat. They are recognized are Scheduled caste and are eligible are special public jobs and college admissions. Most Chaudhari work as agricultural laborers. Others work as small artisans in their villages. As a tribal people and therefore outcastes, other Hindus tend to look down upon them. Illiteracy is a problem among the Chaudhari. Many of their villages lack modern conveniences.
Where Are they Located?
The primary language of the Chaudhari is Gujarti.
The Chaudhari live in Gujarat in west India. A small number of them live in Maharashtra.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Chaudhari marry within their tribe but not within their clan. Families arrange marriages through negotiation. The prospective son-in-law serves the girl's father for a fixed period, after which the marriage is solemnized. Monogamy is the common form of marriage arrangement, though polygamy is also permitted. Living within extended families is common practice.
What Are Their Beliefs?
All the sons get an equal share of the parental property, but the eldest son gains the father's title and the family home. The Chaudhari do not permit proprietary rights to women. On the fifth day after birth, the maternal uncle selects the name of the child. The dead are cremated, except for children and pregnant women, who are instead buried.
The main foods of the Chaudhari are rice, wheat, vegetables and fruit. Meat is reserved for special occasions and holidays.
The Chaudhari practice Hinduism strongly influenced by folk religion. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon and their own tribal deities. 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 Chaudhari visit their tribal shrines and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. They pray to be delivered from evil spirits. The Chaudhari, as a tribal people, have their own priests and do not use Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
The main yearly holidays of the Chaudhari people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the celebration of autumn.
As a rural tribal people of India, the Chaudhari have pressing needs. Most of all they need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. Fortunately, the Bible is available in their language of Gujarati. They need help in educating their children and in obtaining the benefits of modern medicine.
* Pray that the few Chaudhari who are Christians will lead others to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that the Chaudhari council leaders will come to Jesus Christ and lead others to salvation.
* Pray that God sends Christian workers to the Chaudhari to share the gospel with them and meet their physical needs.