Kalu in India

Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Kalu
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 308,000
World Population: 437,000
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Kalu people derive their name from the Hindi word khalu. Stories tell of the legendary Lord Shiva and how the first Kalu man came from the sweat off of Lord Shiva's arm while bathing in oil. The Kalu have a long tradition of being sellers of oil and of being oil-pressers, a similar occupation to that of the Teli people.

The Kalu live in India and Bangladesh. They speak Bengali in both countries.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They can be landowners as well as farmers or plantation laborers. They eat fish and other meats as well as wheat and ria and biri kalai. Their married women wear shell and iron bangles. The Kalu have both extended and nuclear families.

What Are Their Beliefs?

In India the Kalu people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.

The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.

In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

Agricultural initiatives could be a good platform for workers to bless the Kalu and share the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

There is no record of even one believer among the group. The Kalu people need the Holy Spirit to call them to follow the only savior.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to raise up Kalu Christian believers who will disciple others who will disciple others.

Pray for the Lord to abundantly bless their crops this year as a testimony of his power and love.

Pray for dreams and visions for Kalu elders to open this Muslim community to Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project