Introduction / History
The Halwai are a caste of sweet makers and confectioners. The Mairas are a subgroup of the Hawais. The name Halwai comes from the Hindi word "Halwa" which is a sweet.
Where Are they Located?
The Halwai live mainly in India's northern states, but they also live further east in Bangladesh, a Muslim country.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Halwais are respected in India and Bangladesh among the Hindus. Because of the importance sweets have in the Hindu religion, they have a special position in festivals, childbirths and marriages.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Halwai owned sweet shops grace towns and bazaars throughout north India and Bangladesh. Some Halwai people are involved government, private work, engineering, medical, and agriculture. Most Maira Halwai people are comfortable financially, and some are wealthy, particularly in the cities and towns.
The Maira Halwai do not marry outside of their respective groups. They have one spouse. They educate both boys and girls, which is unusual in India and Bangladesh. After the father dies, the oldest son becomes the family head, and property is evenly divided between the sons. Younger men often move away to begin businesses.
The Halwai are mainly Hindu and worship all the main Hindu gods such as Shiva, Rama, Krishna, and Ganesh. A Brahmin priest does birth, marriage, and death ceremonies for them. They go on Hindu pilgrimages. The Halwai celebrate all the main Hindu festivals such as Holi and Diwali, many of which involve giving and eating sweets—which is very good for business!
What Are Their Needs?
Like candy, Hinduism offers what seems like a sweet way to satisfy hunger without including any substance. It is way too easy for the Maira Halwais to be satisfied with what they have, without finding out that only Jesus offers life to the full.
Pray for the Maira Halwai people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Maira Halwai people.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Maira Halwai communities.
Scripture Prayers for the Halwai Maira in India.