South Asian, Telugu-speaking in Mauritius

South Asian, Telugu-speaking
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2021
Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: South Asian, Telugu-speaking
Country: Mauritius
10/40 Window: No
Population: 19,000
World Population: 918,200
Primary Language: Telugu
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 3.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
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. Telugu refers to a Dravidian (southern Indian) language spoken mainly in India's states of Andhra Pradesh and Telegana, where it is the official language. Early inscriptions in Telugu date back to 575AD, and literary works started in the 11th century. From the mid 1700s until India became a sovereign nation in 1948, this part of India was ruled in part by monarchs, but ultimately controlled by the British Raj. Hyderabad, as the princely state was then called, was among the most prosperous princely states of India.

Where Are they Located?

Most Telugu speakers live in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh, but there is a diaspora in diverse countries including the US, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Mauritius.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Telugu speakers in Mauritius are one of the smaller people groups from India. Their language, Telugu, is spoken at home, but they must learn other languages to communicate with others.

Like other South Asians in Mauritius, Telugu speakers are fairly prosperous. Though their ancestors may have come to Mauritius as common laborers, many of them are now businessmen.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Telugu are mainly followers of Hinduism. For the Hindu majority, their "Hinduism" is as much a lifestyle as it is a religion. Telugu are mainly Vaishnavites (followers of the deity Vishna). Telugu participate in festivals celebrated by most Indian Hindus in Mauritius such as Thaipusam (a ritual of human endurance, self-sacrifice, and the power of mind over matter) and Deepavali (known as the Festival of Lights). There are festivals distinct to Telugu such as Ugadhi (beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit) celebrated during the month of March or April with Ugadhi patchadi (special vegetarian meals) and Cherathalu (a joyful folk dance).

What Are Their Needs?

There may be a few Christ followers among the predominantly Hindu Telugu people in Mauritius. They need to have contact with one another. Believers need to share with these Hindus how they can enjoy life to the full.
Their most critical need is to understand the truth of the loving God who has made provision for them to be His children and has paid the full payment of the penalty of their sins. Who will pay the price to tell them?

Prayer Points

* Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Telegu people in Mauritius for Jesus and that in God’s sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
* Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Telegu families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
* Pray for the spiritual lives of the Telegu people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
* Pray for the lives and culture of the Telegu people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.

Text Source:   Keith Carey