Balai (Hindu traditions) in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Balai or Balahi live in the central states of India. "Balai" means weaver in Hindi. Their traditional occupations were that of landless farm laborers, weavers and village watchmen. The Balahi are a Scheduled Caste, which means they are eligible for special benefits from the Indian government because of their poverty. This includes reserved places in education and public jobs. Their traditional occupations were that of landless farm laborers, weavers and village watchmen. Currently Balai are grow cotton and other crops.

Some Balai have risen in Indian society to careers as masons, carpenters and business owners. Unfortunately, many Balai are still illiterate.

The primary language of the Balai is Hindi. They also speak other regional languages such as Dhundari, Nimadi, Mewari and Malvi.


Where Are they Located?

The large majority of Balai live in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajastan. Many also live in the Capital Territory of Delhi.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Balai people are very poor by Indian standards. Although they can eat meat except for beef and pork, they seldom can afford it. Their diet consists of rice, grains and whatever roots and vegetables they can obtain.

Balai do not marry members of their families such as cousins. They do marry within their gotra or clan and community. Brahmin priests perform the weddings. Adult marriage is the general practice. Brides go to live with the groom's family. Sons inherit family property. Women often work as domestic servants to supplement family income. The Balai live in multi-caste villages in their own areas. They bury their dead.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Balai are Hindus. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Balai give special service and attention to Durga, the mother-warrior goddess. They visit her temples and travel to her shrines. Balai celebrate the traditional Hindu holidays such a Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the festival of the beginning of spring.

A tiny minority of Balai are Christians.


What Are Their Needs?

The Balai need to hear the life-changing gospel of Christ in a way they can understand. They need to see that true spiritual wealth is found in Jesus not in the gods of Hinduism. They need help in becoming literate so they can read the Bible in Hindi and raise their position in Indian society.


Prayer Points

Pray that the small group of Balai Christians would be built up and trained to share the gospel with their brothers and sisters.
Pray the Lord sends Christian workers to live among the Balai and demonstrate the love and care of our Father and Savior.
Pray that God is honored by the planting of many Bible-believing churches in the Balai community.


Scripture Prayers for the Balai (Hindu traditions) in India.


References

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balai
indianetzone.com/50/balahi_caste.htm


Profile Source:   David Kugel  

People Name General Balai (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Balai (Hindu traditions)
Alternate Names Bakhoalhai; Balahi; Balai; Bulai; Meghbansi; Meghwal; Mehra; बलाई (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
Population this Country 2,693,000
Population all Countries 2,695,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 54
People ID 16309
ROP3 Code 111438
ROP25 Code 300756
ROP25 Name Balai
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 10
Largest States
Madhya Pradesh
1,587,000
Rajasthan
938,000
Delhi
117,000
Maharashtra
20,000
Odisha
2,300
Gujarat
1,400
Uttar Pradesh
1,300
Uttarakhand
900
Chhattisgarh
300
Goa
30
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 10
  Madhya Pradesh 1,587,000
  Rajasthan 938,000
  Delhi 117,000
  Maharashtra 20,000
  Odisha 2,300
  Gujarat 1,400
  Uttar Pradesh 1,300
  Uttarakhand 900
  Chhattisgarh 300
  Goa 30
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.04 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.30 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.61 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.05 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Hindi (1,505,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 22
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Dhundari
208,000
Malvi
128,000
Nimadi
116,000
Mewari
94,000
Marwari (India)
85,000
Shekhawati
80,000
Haroti
11,000
Marathi
5,500
Wagdi
3,100
Punjabi, Eastern
2,500
Khandesi
2,000
Odia
1,800
Gujarati
1,700
Bagri
700
Garhwali
400
Primary Language Hindi (1,505,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 22
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Dhundari 208,000
  Malvi 128,000
  Nimadi 116,000
  Mewari 94,000
  Marwari (India) 85,000
  Shekhawati 80,000
  Haroti 11,000
  Marathi 5,500
  Wagdi 3,100
  Punjabi, Eastern 2,500
  Khandesi 2,000
  Odia 1,800
  Gujarati 1,700
  Bagri 700
  Garhwali 400
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1818-2022)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
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Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament DAVAR Partners International
Audio Recordings Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rock International: King of Glory Rock International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source David Kugel 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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