The Rajput Kanet are the main group of farmers in the northwestern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The Kanet means "indifferent to caste" in Sanskrit. The Kanets claim to be descendants of the rulers of a mountain kingdom that existed 2000 years ago. Rajput means sons of rulers. The British classified them as the lowest caste of laborers in Hinduism during the colonial period.
The Kanets live in the hills and valleys of the west Himalaya Mountains. They cultivate barley, wheat, lentils, maize and potatoes as their main crops. Some Kanets own their land while others work the soil of others.
The Dali Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, makes his home in Himachal Pradesh.
The primary languages of the Rajput Kanets are Kangri, Mandealia, Mahasu Pahari and Bilaspuri. Many Kanets also speak Hindi so that they can communicate with other Indian peoples.
Where Are they Located?
The vast majority of Rajput Kanets live in Himachal Pradesh. A small number of Kanets live in Punjab and Haryana where they also work in agriculture.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The geography of the west Himalayas dominates the lives of the Rajput Kanets. They grow crops suitable to the mountainous terrain the temperatures. They must import rice from the south. Rice is seen a special food for feasts. Rice is used to ferment a local form of liquor. The Kanets wear warm, colorful woolen clothing to protect against the cold. They also raise sheep for wool and mutton. Cattle provide dairy products.
The Kanets are endogamous, that is they tend to marry within their own group. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit their father's property.
Illiteracy is a problem among the Kanets especially for the women and girls. If the Kanets are to continue to prosper, they will need to be able to read and write.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The largest religion among the Rajput Kanets is Hinduism, the ancient faith of India. The Hinduism of the Kanets is strongly influenced by Buddhism and folk religion. The Kanets often use their own priests when Brahmins are not available. The Kanet perform rituals, which they believe will protect them from evil spirits. Two of their significant Hindu deities are Durga, the mother-warrior goddess and Vishnu, the preserver god.
As Hindus the Kanets participate in the yearly holidays of Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the celebration of autumn.
Small portions of the Kanets are Buddhists.
What Are Their Needs?
The Rajput Kanets need to hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. The New Testament was translated into Kangri in 2017. The Kanets need help in educating their children. They would also benefit from modern science and technology, which could help them increase their crop yield.
Pray for the Rajput Kanets community to increasingly grow in awareness of Jesus, his life and his sacrifice for them.
Pray the Lord will give them a spiritual hunger, and then satisfy that hunger.
Pray that the Kanets will understand the value of becoming part of God's royal family.
Pray for a disciple making movement among the Rajput Kanets community
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