Text source: Karen Hightower
Expanded Text source: Kara Strange
Introduction / History
Halwai people of India are a caste of sweet makers and confectioners. The name Halwai comes from the Hindi word "Halwa" which is a sweet.
Where are they located?
Many Halwai people live in Uttar Pradesh, Madya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
What are their lives like?
They are viewed with respect. Because of the importance sweets have in religion and socially, they have a special position in festivals, childbirths and marriages.
Sweet shops of Halwai grace towns and bazaars in north India. Some Halwai people are involved government, private work, engineering, medical, and agriculture. Their common language is Hindi.
They are mainly vegetarians, eating wheat, rice, fruit and vegetables. In Bihar, Halwai people eat chicken and mutton, but not beef. They enjoy milk and dairy produce, but not alcohol.
Halwai Brahman people do not marry outside of their respective groups. They have one spouse. Divorce is permitted, and divorcees, and bereaved are permitted to remarry, and they practivce the tradition of dowry. They practice family planning and modern medicine.
They educate both boys and girls, which is unusual in India. Property is equally given to the sons. The oldest son becomes the leader in the home. Younger men often move away to begin businesses.
Most Halwai people are comfortable financially, and some are wealthy particularly in the cities and towns.
What are their beliefs?
Halwai people are mostly Hindu. A Brahmin priest conducts birth, marriage and death ceremonies. The dead are cremated and the ashes immersed in a river, usually the Ganges. Post delivery child birth pollution and death pollution are observed for a given period of time They observe many pilgrimages and festivals.
Many Brahman castes are made up of people who adhere to all the various philosophical and theological options espoused by modern Hindus, including hard core secularists and atheists. One can never predict what an individual Brahman might believe or disbelieve. One might think the word, "confusion."
What are their needs?
They need to realize that Halwai wealth is temporary but Salvation through Jesus Christ is permanent.
Halwai Brahmans as an influential and generally well-to-do community are not unlike the middle classes of most places. Their main needs involve relational strains that are usually kept behind closed doors. Modernization is breaking down family units which have been the glue to society for many generations, and loneliness is increasingly a problem. They are expected to "achieve it all," but ironically, achieving it all can be empty.
* Pray for Christ to reveal Himself to Halwai Brahman leaders.
* Pray for the eyes of Brahman hearts to be open to Jesus Christ as Lord and King.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Halwi Brahman community.
* Pray for many to be prompted to faithfully pray for Halwai Brahmans.
Expanded Text source: Kara StrangeView Halwai (Hindu traditions) in all countries.