Halwai Maira in Nepal

Halwai Maira
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Halwai Maira
Country: Nepal
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,900
World Population: 162,900
Primary Language: Maithili
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 name Halwai comes from the Hindi word "Halwa" which refers to sweets. The Halwai are a caste of sweet makers and confectioners. The Mairas are a subgroup of the Hawais.

Where Are they Located?

The Halwai live mainly in India's northern states, but they also live in Bangladesh and Nepal.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Hindus in India and Nepal respect the Maira Halwais. Because of the importance sweets have in the Hindu religion, they have a special position in festivals, childbirths and marriages.

Halwai owned sweet shops grace towns and bazaars throughout north India and Nepal. 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 Nepal. 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.

What Are Their Beliefs?

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?

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.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Maira Halwai people teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Maira Halwai families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Maira Halwai families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Maira Halwai family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.

Text Source:   Keith Carey