Tamil (Hindu traditions) in Thailand

Tamil (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
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People Name: Tamil (Hindu traditions)
Country: Thailand
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 35,000
World Population: 2,763,500
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 10.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
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 homeland of the Tamil people is southeast India. Tamil is one of the major languages of India. Many thousands of Tamils have left India and live in dozens of countries throughout the world including Thailand.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Tamil communities in Thailand continue with their traditional Indian customs, language and religions. Tamil Indians live in both rural areas and urban centers. Many have successfully ventured into all walks of Thai life. Some Tamils are professionals, but the majority are businesspersons owning shops and small companies. What Tamil Indians lack in opportunity, they overcome through creativity. Tamils often speak three to four languages, cook a variety of curries, wear vibrantly colored materials, and have a lively culture. The father is the head of the Tamil family. He shares leadership with his wife over the children. A woman has a higher place in the Tamil home than in most Asian cultures. Parents encourage their sons and daughters to excel in education and obtain college degrees. Tamils in Thailand try to maintain their ethnic identity and at the same time become model citizens of Thailand. In traditional Tamil culture, the parents chose the spouse of their children. This practice has changed in modern society where children frequently choose their life partner with their parents’ guidance. In India a Tamil man may have more than one wife if he can afford them. In Thailand monogamy or marriage to one spouse is the official law but a man may have one of more consorts who function as "wives."

What Are Their Beliefs?

The large majority of Tamils in Thailand practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Tamils visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hope of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods as Christians do with their heavenly Father. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Hinduism of the Tamils is compatible with the Buddhism of the Thai people. The main yearly holidays of the Tamil people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday. The Tamils in Thailand often celebrate Buddhist holidays. Buddhism is the religion of most Thai people.

What Are Their Needs?

The Hindu Tamils must come to understand that Jesus Christ is not just another Hindu god or guru. He is the unique Son of the one true God who alone can forgive their sins. The Tamils need to see the love of Jesus demonstrated to them in practical ways.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Lord raises up a Disciple Making Movement among the Tamils in Thailand. Pray the Lord moves Thai believers and churches to reach out and share the good news with the Tamils. Pray that more Christian literature, radio broadcasts, and videos become available in the Tamil language. Ask God to bring Tamil leaders and heads of families into His kingdom.

Text Source:   Joshua Project