Hijda in India

Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Hijda
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 212,000
World Population: 212,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
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 Hijra (or Hijda) are a community of eunuchs who usually dress like women. They give themselves female names and identify with being a "third gender." For centuries the hijras, very much alive and growing today, has been a traditional order in the Hindu priesthood. There are even anthropological studies of the hijras. In Gujarat the Hijra speak Gujarati and Hindi and read and write in Devanagari. In Madhya Pradesh the Hijra live in Indore.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They are a religious and social part of India's life, performing ceremonies at weddings and births with rites that include dancing and playing drums. They are often used as prostitutes. They are noted for their aggressive begging, and people comply because they believe that if they don't, a hijra's curse will cause them hardship. Some volunteered to become eunuchs while others were forced into it, often as children. Many of them smoke. The Hijras are rejected and feared by most partly because of their aggressive begging and partly because of their strange lifestyle. Hijras have been known to be brutally beaten in places like prisons, police stations and homes. They have the Hijra Kalyan Sabha and the Dai Welfare Society to look after their interests.

What Are Their Beliefs?

There are Muslims and Hindus among them. They perform rituals and are under the authority of their own gurus. They identify with the Lord Krishna whom legend has it, transformed himself into a woman. Hijras are called upon to bring blessings to weddings and at the birth of newborns. They believe they are transforming their sexual energy into sacred powers.

What Are Their Needs?

The Hijras need to seek and find God's purpose for their lives.

Prayer Points

Pray for a spiritual hunger that will give Hijras the willingness to turn and follow the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Pray that God will give the Hijra dreams and visions leading them to Jesus Christ. Pray that the Hijra community council leaders will come to Jesus Christ and lead others to a movement to Christ.

Text Source:   Keith Carey