Introduction / History
The Mon are flute players who live in the mountains of Ladakh. They have lower status than the more numerous Ladakhi people, and there are no social divisions in Mon society. The homeland for this small Tibetan Buddhist group straddles India and Pakistan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
When Mon children become adults, their fathers begin the process of making marriage arrangements. A boy’s father and other close relatives approach the parents of a potential wife. They negotiate the marriage, though sometimes they agree to exchange sisters, resulting in multiple marriages. The bride price is determined by the health and the appearance of the young woman. The bride price is one of the reasons the Mon people take special care of their daughters: she is a financial asset to the family. The Mon people no longer practice polyandry, where one woman has multiple husbands.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The diet of the Mon people is similar to other Tibetan Buddhist communities. Their staple foods include barley, which grows well at high elevations. They also eat wheat and beef. Typically, Tibetan Buddhists believe that each animal has a soul, so it’s best to share one water buffalo than to each several chickens.
Because of their low status the Mon have little political power. They are given food for playing musical instruments at special events like weddings, but most work as day laborers or run small businesses. Few if any have obtained high paying jobs as engineers, doctors or teachers. Members of other communities do not want their children taught by a member of the Mon community.
The Mon are Tibetan Buddhist, which means they also practice the shamanistic Bon religion. They have other practices which don’t fall into any neat category. For example, if a woman is barren, they make human figures out of wheat flour and barley and contact a religious specialist. This person can be a Tibetan Buddhist lama, a chema or a kushak.
What Are Their Needs?
Because of their low status, the Mon cannot become a lama, a Buddhist leader. They do, however, play instruments at Buddhist religious events.
The Mon people need to accept the warm embrace of the only savior so they can enjoy spiritually meaningful lives.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to work mightily in their communities, blessing them in every way.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Mon people a love for God's Word and a desire to spread its influence.
Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.
Scripture Prayers for the Mon in India.
People of India, Vol 25. K.S. Singh. 2003