Kaikolan in Sri Lanka

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2024
India Missions Association  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Kaikolan
Country: Sri Lanka
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 81,000
World Population: 2,874,000
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 12.52 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Kaikolan people live in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. A smaller number are in Sri Lanka, an island nation to the south of India. Traditionally, the Kaikolan were involved in growing, weaving and selling cotton. They are classified as a Backwards Caste meaning they are eligible for special university admissions and public jobs.
The Kaikolan speak several languages. Their main language is Tamil. Many resources are available in Tamil including a complete Bible, radio broadcasts and the JESUS Film.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kaikolan live in extended families. The occupations of the Kaikolan who live in rural areas are agriculture and animal husbandry. Urban Kaikolan work in factories, in construction, in retail and for the government. Families and young people arrange marriages. The newly wedded couple often lives with the groom's parents. Sons inherit the property of their father upon his death. Unfortunately, the education level of many Kaikolan is low. Children frequently quit school after a few years to help their parents earn a living. A caste council settle legal issues and enforces social norms. Educated Kaikolan have found jobs in the computer science, schools, medicine and engineering.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The vast majority of the Kaikolan practice Hinduism. 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 Kaikolan 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 Kaikolan 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. The lowest communities are outside of the caste system. The Kaikolan fit into the working class.
A small fraction of the Kaikolan claim to followers of Jesus Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

Most Kaikolan need to be more proficient in reading and writing. They need to learn new job skills and have access to university education. Kaikolan villages need access to clean water, electricity and modern medicine.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to give open minds to the Kaikolan and a hunger for God's truth.
Ask the Lord to raise up a movement to Christ among the Kaikolan soon.
Pray for a medical team to go to Kaikolan villages and tell the Kaikolan about Jesus.
Pray for Tamil Bibles to fall into the hands of seeking Kaikolan.

Text Source:   Joshua Project