South Asian, Telugu-speaking in Myanmar (Burma)

South Asian, Telugu-speaking
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2024
Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: South Asian, Telugu-speaking
Country: Myanmar (Burma)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 139,000
World Population: 1,183,900
Primary Language: Telugu
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 8.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.20 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The peoples of India have managed to go to other parts of the world to make their mark, and Telugu speakers are no exception. In fact, they are the second largest language group that goes to other countries to earn a living. Many of India's states are named after a particular Indian language. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are home to most of India's Telugu speakers. Broadly speaking Indian languages are divided into the northern Aryan and the southern Dravidian branches. Telugu is a Dravidian language.

A complete Bible and many other Christian resources are available in Telugu.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Parents want their children to learn to speak Telugu and to continue to honor south Indian customs and culture.

Those who follow Christ in India tend to be from "backward" (lower, less powerful) caste backgrounds. In general, forward (higher, more powerful) caste members are the ones who have the opportunity to move to other countries.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Telugu speaking Hindu parents want their children and grandchildren to attend Hindu temples and to celebrate Hindu holidays. Young people are already losing much of their cultural uniqueness by speaking other languages.

The majority of the Telugu speaking people in Myanmar claim to be Hindus. Hinduism is 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.

Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring. Diwali is the festival of lights. Navratri the celebrates autumn and the harvest. Rama Navami remembers Rama's birthday.

What Are Their Needs?

Some Christians will have to find ways for Telugu speakers to follow Jesus without feeling like they are abandoning their traditional culture. Christians can help newly arrived South Indians in adjusting to the new location.

Prayer Points

Pray for the kingdom of God to penetrate hearts of Telugu speakers in Myanmar.

Pray that churches reach out and share the good news with Telugu speakers.

Pray that the Telugu believers in India would grow strong in the faith and take the initiative to get the gospel to their family and friends in other countries.

Pray for a breakthrough among forward caste Telugu speaking Hindus both in Singapore and in Myanmar.

Text Source:   Joshua Project