Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
Chetti is a generic South Indian term for merchants and traders. There are Chetti communities in South India, but a different one in nearby Sri Lanka.
Between the 16th and mid 17th century, Chettis settled in the ports of Jaffna, Colombo and Galle in western Sri Lanka. They were mainly from Tamil Nadu, thus their use of the Tamil language today. This was a time when Portuguese and Dutch colonialists were making inroads into Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lanka Chetti have a subgroup in the northern part of their island nation. That is the Chetty Vellalar, and they are being merged with other Sri Lankan ethnic communities.
What are their lives like?
It's common for the Sri Lanka Chetti to intermarry with the dominant peoples of Sri Lanka. Between this and their small number, one wonders if they will exist as a separate community in 100 years.
The Sri Lanka Chetti are usually part of the business community. Their children usually get a good education so they can continue their comfortable lifestyle.
What are their beliefs?
Though they are devout Hindus, their form of Hinduism has certain elements of Islam and Taoism.
Sri Lankan Chettis are Hindus who are often devoted to either Shiva or Ganesh. Ganesh is a favorite among business communities since Hindus believe he help them overcome obstacles. Those who worship Shiva are joined by many others in this Hindu tradition.
What are their needs?
The Chetti people need to be given the chance to hear the life-changing gospel so they can enjoy life to the full. There are many Christ followers in Sri Lanka and southern India who can introduce them to the only savior.
Pray for loving gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Chetti people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing the hearts of these people would be open and ready to follow him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Chetti families so the gospel will spread rapidly.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Chetti people to become fruitful so others will be drawn to Jesus Christ.
ReferencesView Sri Lanka Chetti in all countries.