Introduction / History
The Sulki are a sub-group of the larger Tanti people. The Tanti have been expert weaver for centuries. Up until the time of the industrial revolution, one could find a loom in every Tanti home. The Tanti still weave custom, handmade linen clothes but most now work in factories or as cloth merchants.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The primary language of the Sulki is Bengali. Educated Sulki also speak Hindi and English. Many resources are available in Bengali including a complete Bible, the JESUS Film and radio programs. Most Sulki Tanti live in the northeast Indian state of west Bengal.
The Sulki have a varied lifestyle. Many urban Sulki are college educated and own and manage clothing factories and stores. Rural Sulki tend to have less education and work in agriculture or animal husbandry. Some own their land. Other work as tenant farmers. Many young Sulki are moving to the cities in search of better educational and economic opportunities.
What Are Their Beliefs?
As Hindus, some Sulki are vegetarians while others eat meat, fish, dairy and eggs. The Sulki marry one spouse often within their own community. Urban Sulki encourage their children to graduate from college.
There are few if any believers among the Hindu Sulki. They practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They 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 other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like 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 Sukli need to understand that Jesus Christ is much more than another Hindu god or avatar. They need to know that there is only one, true God-Creator who is offended by their sin. The Sulki will need to see the love of Christ demonstrated in their lives by Spirit-filled Indian believers.
Rural Sulki would benefit by learning new job skills and by gaining access to modern medicine.
Ask the Lord to send workers to the Sulki who will love them and introduce them to Christ.
Pray the Lord would lead Sulki to listen to Bengali radio programs and read the Bengali Bible.
Pray that Indian Christians would build relationships with the Sulki and give them the good news.
Pray the Lord raises up a disciple making movement among the Sulki of India in the next decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Sukli in India.