Galada Konkani in India

Galada Konkani
Send Joshua Project a photo
of this people group.
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Galada Konkani
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 800
World Population: 800
Primary Language: Tulu
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Galada are a small group within the much larger Konkani speaking peoples of west India. The Portuguese treated the Indian people harshly forcing to speak Portuguese and forbidding the practice on Hinduism in their colony. They destroyed 300 Hindu temples and shrines. If a person was caught engaging in Hindu rituals this person was imprisoned, tortured and sometimes burned at the stake. These actions were not conducive to the spread of Roman Catholicism among the Konkani speakers.

The two main languages of the Galada are Tulu and Konkani. Many Christian resources are available in both languages.

Where Are they Located?

The Galada Konkani people live only in Karnataka, a state in southern India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today many of the Galada fish for a living on the Arabian Sea. If the fishing is poor, the Galada can face starvation. They also work in agriculture often on land not owned by them. Some women work as domestics. The Galada are designated as an OBC or Other Backward Caste by the Indian government. That means the Galada are eligible for certain public jobs and special consideration for university admissions. Most Galada are either illiterate or functionally illiterate. Children many times have to quit school and to help support the family.

Many of their villages do not have electricity or indoor plumbing. Most Galada do not have access to modern medicine.
The Galada marry within their group. Families arrange marriages with the new couple living near or with the groom's parents. Sons inherit property with the eldest son becoming the head of the family upon the death of the father. A caste council settles legal disputes and promotes their interests.

The main foods of the Galada are fish, rice, grains and vegetables. Meat is frequently reserved for holidays and special occasions.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Galada 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 Galada 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 like Christians or Jews. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.

The main yearly holidays of the Galada 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.

What Are Their Needs?

As a poverty stricken people of India, the Galada have many needs. Their children need more than a basic elementary education so they can compete in the modern economy of India. The Galada need to learn new job skills. They need access to modern medicine. Galada villages need electricity and clean water. Most of all, the Galada must hear the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and make them right with God.

Prayer Points

* Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Galada families and communities into a rich experience of God's blessings.
* Pray the Lord will give Galada families understanding and responsive hearts as they hear about the love of Christ.
* Pray for the Galada people to be delivered from their fear of Christendom and to embrace God's blessing through his Word for their families and communities.

Text Source:   Keith Carey