Introduction / History
The Kamarifa are a sub-group of larger Yadav peoples. Most of the Kamarifa Yadav live in the central Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The Yadav peoples hold a place of honor, since their traditional occupation is dealing with cattle and dairy products in a culture where the cow is sacred. There have been times in their long history that Yadav peoples have held power and wealth. Today they are classified as "other backward castes" or OBCs in some Indian states. This sounds derisive, but in fact, this refers to people who hold some status, but are not part of the most prestigious communities. OBCs are able to get government jobs and special university admissions.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The primary language of the Kamarifa is Hindi. Many Christian resources are available in Hindi including a complete Bible, the JESUS Film and radio programs. There are few if any followers of Christ among the Kamarifa.
Some Kamariha Yadav people still take care of cattle for a living. Others are farm the land they own. Still others are college educated and work in the professions. They are often the politically dominant people in the areas where they reside.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Most Kamarifa are vegetarians. As devout Hindus, they do not eat or sell beef. They do sell dairy products that they obtain from their cows. Kamarifa eat wheat and rice their staple foods.
The Kamarifa are endogamous, which means they prefer to have marriage take place within their community. They have birth and marriage rituals officiated by Brahmin priests. On the death of the father, sons inherit the property. The oldest son takes charge of the home and the family. It is the sons’ responsibility to take care of elderly relatives. Most Kamarifa encourage their sons and daughters to earn a university education.
The Kamariha people 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 like 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.
Like all other peoples of the world, the Kamarifa needs the blessings and guidance that only Jesus Christ can offer. Jesus is not just another Hindu god or guru. He alone can forgive the sins of the Kamarifa and grant them eternal life.
Pray for the Lord to send workers to go to the Kamarifa people and disciple new believers who will disciple others.
Pray for spiritual hunger and discernment among the Kamarifa.
Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
Pray that the Lord leads Kamarifa to tune into Hindi radio programs and to read the Hindi Bible.
Scripture Prayers for the Yadav Kamariha in India.
Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999