Introduction / History The Goriya who are also called Gaur are fishermen and boatmen who live in Uttar Pradesh in India. They are found mainly in Faizabad, Janupur, Sultanpur and Varanasi in the east. The Goriya speak Awadhi and also speak Hindi. They read and write in Devanagari. They will not accept food from lower castes but accept food from castes higher than what they are.
The Goriya also work as farmers, laborers and in other jobs. Some own small businesses. They eat poultry, fish, mutton and pork. Because of their Hindu religion they do not eat beef. They also eat wheat and rice, seasonal vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy products for example. The men sometimes drink alcohol but the women do not. Literacy is poor, especially for the girls. (So there is a need for the gospel to be given in oral form too). They use modern medicines as well as native medicines.
Marriages are arranged by parents and families and only happen in the community. Child marriages, though common, are lessening. Divorce is allowed and divorcees and the bereaved can marry again. A widower marrying the younger sister of his late wife and a widow marrying the younger brother of her late husband takes place too. Property that is of the father is given equally, though only to the sons. Men are in charge but women are valued. Besides doing housework, women help their husbands on the farm, collect fuel, carry water and their opinions are listened to. They are very much involved in religious rites and social occasions. The Goriya sing folk songs and have traditional councils that have control in social matters.
The Goriya are Hindus and have many gods that they worship. They also worship family, village and regional gods. Ancestors are worshipped too. They believe in the occult and in reincarnation. They celebrate most Hindu festivals.
Brahmin priests perform birth, marriage and death rituals. A set period of birth pollution takes place until the priest does a purification ritual and the newborn baby is named. Head shaving ceremonies are performed for boys and girls. The Goriya dead are cremated and they have a thirteen day death pollution period. Then there is a ceremony and they give a feast for the peace of the bereaved person.
The Goriya are classed among the lower castes. Domination by higher castes has "scarred" them even to this day.
Prayer Points * Please pray that Christians go to the Goriya in friendship and love and give them the gospel message.