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Serawai in Indonesia


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Serawai in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
331,000 Malay, Central Islam 3.00 % 0.62 %   

Serawai in Indonesia

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Introduction / History
The Serawai are a Malay group who live mostly in the South Bengkulu and Seluma regencies. They live in the Seluma, Pino, Talo and Manna districts. Serawai people also live in the city of Bengkulu and other cities in Bengkulu province. Typically, Serawai call themselves Orang Selatan (People of the South), even though there are Kaur and Besemah people in this southern section of the province as well. The Serawai have their own language, which consists of the Talo and Manna dialects.

What are their lives like?
The rural Serawai live in wooden houses raised on stilts which have thatched roofs made from leaves. The space below the house is used for storage or for keeping livestock. Villages are generally compact groups of homes situated along a roadside or riverbank. On the upper part of the front of a house, there are often sun-shaped drawings symbolizing the light of Allah. Traditionally, a Serawai person's home may not be directly across from the house of a sibling. Ancestral lines are drawn from both sides of the family. Determining where a couple lives after marriage depends on a formal agreement (kulo) between the couple and their families. The majority of Serawai make a living as rice farmers. To irrigate their rice fields, they depend on rain or a nearby river. The Serawai are also known as coffee farmers. They often go to other areas to start coffee plantations or become workers on a coffee farm. Other crops include cloves, pepper, brown sugar, coconut, rattan, rubber, fruits and vegetables. Recently, many Serawai have migrated to North Bengkulu to look for wider fields with better irrigation. When crops fail, they try farming in a different area of the province. Serawai villages that focus on fish farming have recently experienced rapid growth. Many Serawai people also work as traders, civil servants, teachers, members of the military, construction workers and day laborers. The Serawai area is not very affluent, in fact their lives may be considered economically difficult or depressed. Despite that, the area is considered very safe with low crime levels.

What are their beliefs?
The vast majority of Serawai people are Muslims, but their day-to-day lives are influenced by older beliefs. They fear ma'sumai, a ferocious tiger that can assume human form, first attracting and then slaying its victims. They also perform ceremonies connected to farming. Before planting, seeds are washed in the mendundang ceremony. Newly harvested rice stalks are bound together during the nuruni ceremony. These are performed to show that the rice plants are properly respected, so that the spirit of the rice plants will not leave their fields, thus preventing crop failure. At certain times, farmers offer goats at the graves of their ancestors or holy places. A small percentage of the Serawai are Christian. There are around three generations of Christians so there are some whose grandparents were Christian. They are spread throughout a few areas and have formed Serawai churches.

What are their needs?
Some Serawai, especially the youth, are shifting from Christianity to embrace non-Christian religions. This is especially happening because of marriages between those of different religions. According to accounts, the reduction in the total number of Christians is very significant. A special effort to reach youth as well as the elderly is very much needed to deal with this situation. The Serawai farmers also need better irrigation systems so they are not wholly dependent on the rain.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-06-13
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Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Sumatra island, Sumatera Selatan Province; east down Lematang and Ogan river valleys, south of Muaraenim town, east and southeast of Lahat town; Bengkulu Province; central Bukit Barisan highlands west to Indian Ocean along Bengkulu coast; Lampung Province, 4 separate enclaves.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Serawai
People Name General: Serawai
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108855
Joshua Project People ID: 14863
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 331,000
Population all Countries: 331,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Pasemah of Sumatra
People Name General: Serawai
Ethnic Code: MSY44k
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Malay, Central (331,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): pse    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Serewai
Dialect Code:3807
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity3.00 %(Evangelical: 0.62 %)
Ethnic Religions8.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam89.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent30.00 %
Protestant70.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Malay, Central
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Serawai in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Pasemah of Sumatra     Asia, Southeast    
      Serawai Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Serawai in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Malay, Central  
    All Religions                              

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