Introduction / History
The Mali are traditionally known as gardeners and growers of flowers. The word Mali is derived from the Sanskrit word 'mala' (meaning garland). Many are called 'phool' Mali, referring to their occupation of growing flowers. Flowers play a large part in Hindu and Sikh weddings.
Where Are they Located?
The main language of the Sikh Mail is Eastern Punjabi. Many also speak Hindi and English.
The Sikh Mali live in the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Mali are industrious people. The Mali are differentiated according to their occupations. For example, those pursuing gardening are known as Baghban, those who cut and sell grass are called Sasia Mali and those growing flowers are Phool Mali. Many Mali live in towns and keep vegetable or flower gardens in the outskirts.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Mali are also famous for the preparation of 'Maur' or marriage crown both for the bride and the bridegroom at marriages. Marriage is forbidden between members of the same clan. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Sons inherit property upon the death of their father. The Sikh Mali encourage both their sons and daughters to obtain a secondary education. Most Mali do not eat beef and pork. Their main foods are rice, vegetables, dairy products, and lentils.
Though most are part of other religious communities, a small number of Mali people are Sikhs. Sikhism originated from a 15th century teacher named Guru Nanak Dev as a reform movement. He rejected the Hindu caste system, taught that all people were equal and that all have equal access to God. The Sikh God is formless, without gender and is to be found in everyone. One gets closer to God by living a good life and by practicing charity. Like Hindus, Sikhs believe in reincarnation and the law of karma; you reap what you sow in your previous life. Like Muslims, the Sikhs worship only one God.
What Are Their Needs?
Sikh teaching mandates that a person not cut his or her hair. They venerate their holy book, the Granth Sahib, which is a collection of hymns. Sikhs are most concentrated in Punjab, their homeland. However, you will find smaller numbers of Sikhs all over the world.
The Sikh Mali need to understand that their good works and rituals will not get them right with the one, true God. They need to see the gospel lived out before them in practical ways.
Pray for workers to go to the Sikh Mali people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their Savior.
Pray for networks of believing families and fellowships that will throw the doors open for others to follow Jesus.
Pray for the Lord to bless the families among the Mali people with His presence and mercy.
Pray for believers among this people group to disciple others who will disciple still others.
Scripture Prayers for the Mali (Sikh traditions) in India.