Kallan in India

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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Kallan
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,282,000
World Population: 1,300,000
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.19 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Kallan or Kallar were the ancient warriors of their Tamil homeland in south India. They protected their lands from Aryan invaders. The word "kalla" in Sanskrit mean black or dark-skinned. The Kallan fought against the Mughal Sultanate and British who attempted to take over south India. As a result of their military service, the Kalla became landowners. Today many Kallan still own land and work the soil.
Although a great many of the members are still farmers, many have also progressed up the social ladder as doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians and civil servants according to kallar.weebly.com. A large number of people from the Kallan community are serving the nation as military men and in Tami Nadu police departments.

The Kallan speak Tamil are their primary language.

Where Are they Located?

The vast majority of Kallan live in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Some also live in the Union Territory of Puducherry and in the state of Kerala.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kallan are endogamous, that is they marry within their clans. Cousins often marry. Families arrange marriages. Weddings take place at the home of the bride. Sons inherit the property of their parents. Polygamy or having more than one wife is allowed if the first wife cannot have children. The Kallan allow for divorce and remarriage.

The Kallan are non-vegetarians but they do not eat beef or pork. The eating of meat is usually restricted to Saturday nights and festival days. Rice with curry is their main food.

The Kallan practice a Tamil form of martial arts. They used a throwing stick similar to a boomerang that could be thrown to up to 100 meters.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Kallan are Hindus. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Many Kallan worship the god Shiva or Siva who is one of the three main gods of Hinduism. They visit Shiva's temples and make offerings of flowers, food and incense. The Kallan participate in the main Hindu holidays of Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the nine-day celebration of autumn.
A tiny group of Christians exists among the Kalla.

What Are Their Needs?

The Kallan need to see that they are sinner. They must see that only Jesus Christ not Shiva can deliver them from their sins and grant them eternal life. The Kallan need to hear the gospel in a way that they can understand.

Prayer Points

* Pray the Lord opens the hearts of the Kallan to receive the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
* Pray the Lord sends Christian workers to serve among the Kallan people.
* Pray that the small group of Kallan Christians would be built up and that growing churches be established among the Kallan community.
* Pray that the Indian Christians living in Tamil Nadu would reach out to the Kallan and share the gospel with them.

Text Source:   David Kugel