Introduction / History The peoples of India have managed to go to other parts of the world to make their mark, and Telegu speakers are no exception. Telegu refers to a Dravidian (southern Indian) language spoken mainly in India's states of Andhra Pradesh and Telegana, where it is the official language. Early inscriptions in Telegu date back to 575AD, and literary works started in the 11th century. From the mid 1700s until India became a sovereign nation in 1948, this part of India was ruled in part by monarchs, but ultimately controlled by the British Raj. Hyderabad, as the princely state was then called, was among the most prosperous princely states of India. It is still one of India's most prosperous states. Still, some Telegus can make more money by going to Saudi Arabia.
Where are they located? Telegu speakers in Saudi Arabia tend to live in Riyadh and other major cities.
What are their lives like? Most Indians who go abroad for work are professionals. In Saudi Arabia you will find businessmen, accountants, and doctors among the Telegu speaking community. Those with less education can be construction or oil workers. Saudi Arabia is a very strict Sunni Islamic state, and some Telegu speakers have been abused. Women who are domestic servants have been physically abused, and one male inmate was beaten with a whip.
Still, Telegu speakers are becoming more numerous and settling into Saudi Arabia. In 2013, they established their own association to preserve, maintain and perpetuate their cultural heritage in Saudi Arabia. They have a matrimonial site for people who speak Telegu in Saudi Arabia. Even though they are far from home in a Muslim land, Telegu speakers will keep good contact with their families and friends in southern India.
What are their beliefs? Most are Hindus who look to their gods to provide them with prosperity and good fortune. They celebrate all the Hindu festivals. The dates of these festivals vary depending on the Hindu calendar, which is lunar.
Surprisingly, about three percent of the Telegu speakers in Saudi Arabia are Christian, something that is very unusual in this bastion of Islam. Saudi Arabia is reluctant to allow members of other religious communities to live in their country.
What are their needs? Telegu women need discernment and protection from predatory employees.
Prayer Points * Pray for safety for Telegu employees in Saudi Arabia. Their women are especially vulnerable to abuse.
* Pray for the Telegu people to flourish spiritually in Saudi Arabia and gain a spiritual hunger that will make them question any religion based on works-righteousness.
* Pray for a Disciple-Making movement to emerge among Telegu speakers in Saudi Arabia and India.