Introduction / History
The Kunbi Tirole people of a subgroup of the large Kunbi caste of India. Most Tirole live in the central Indian states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Their primary language is Marathi, the language of that Maharashtra. They claim that they have a Rajput background, but other communities might not agree. Illiteracy is an issue for the Tirole especially for the women and girls.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Most rural Kunbi Tirole work in agriculture. In the cities many work as day laborers and in factories. The Tirole have a caste council that looks after their needs and promotes their interests. Men eat meat but most of their women are vegetarians. As Hindus, the Tirole do not eat beef. They are endogamous (they prefer to marry within their clan), and cousin marriages are common. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Divorcees and the bereaved can marry again. Sons inherit the property upon the death of their father. Their dead are cremated. Tirole children frequently quit school after a few years to help their parents earn a living.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Kunbi Tirole practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Their brand of Hinduism has elements of folk religion. The Tirole 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 Tirole visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The main yearly holidays of the Kunbi 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 caste system divides Hindus into four main categories. Dalits and tribal peoples are outside of the caste system. The Tirole fall within the working caste.
What Are Their Needs?
The Kunbi Tirole need to accept the abundant life only Jesus can give them. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life. The Tirole also need to learn new job skills to improve their place in Indian society. Rural Tirole need the benefits of modern medicine and good schools for their children.
* Scripture Prayers for the Kunbi Tirole in India.
Pray that the council and village leaders who look after the Kunbi Tirole will give their lives to Jesus Christ and lead others into a disciple making movement. Pray that gospel Marathi materials will lead them to salvation. Pray that Indian believers befriend the Tirole and tell them about the Savior.