Tawaif (Hindu traditions) in India

Tawaif (Hindu traditions)
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Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Tawaif (Hindu traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 22,000
World Population: 22,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Tawaif women were once courtesans, high class prostitutes who were also artistic performers. Hindu Tawaifs are far better known than their Muslim counterparts. Hindu Tawaifs in India live in Uttar Pradesh.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Tawaif people have their own culture which involves music and dance. People have wavered for many years between viewing them in negative terms, even as non-humans, and honoring their cultural achievements. There have been Bollywood movies about the lives of Tawaif women.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tawaifs practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like 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.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tawaifs need to find their worth in the Savior, Jesus Christ. Some need help with job training so they can earn a better living.

Prayer Points

Pray for Holy Spirit driven workers to go to the Hindu Tawaifs until there they have their own church planting movement.
Pray for them to have the spiritual hunger to seek and find the only savior.
Pray for the Lord to speak to the hearts of Tawaif community leaders, giving them reason to open the doors for the gospel.

Text Source:   Joshua Project