Introduction / History Even though the Marathis have both an oral and written history that dates back 2000 years, they only gained attention as a prominent people group in the 1600s. At that time a man named Shivaji and his warriors established the Maratha Empire. India's western state of Maharashtra is named after this people group. Technically Marathi is a language, though language often defines a people group.
During the days of the British Empire, the Brits sent indentured servants from India to Mauritius, an island off the coast of East Africa, to work sugar cane fields and the like. Some of these Indians spoke the Marathi language as do their great-grandchildren today. There were women among the Marathis, and many of these married Chinese men who also migrated to this island chain for work.
21st century Marathis are living much better than the ones who first came to Mauritius. Marathis, and other Mauritians of Indian descent, have dominated the political landscape of this country for many years.
Where are they located? The Marathis live mainly in the few urban centers of Mauritius such as Port Louis. Others live in well-developed towns such as Vacoas, Curepipe, Quatre Bornes and Beau Bassin.
What are their lives like? The Marathis in Mauritius are often highly involved with business and politics. They love the arts, especially the theater, and many of them participate in a national drama competition. Though they keep much of their old culture, they are not insular; many of them speak at least two or three languages, and they have contact with other ethnic communities.
What are their beliefs? The Marathis are Hindus. In Mauritius they are most likely to participate in Gondhal, a sacrifice to a goddess named Bhawani. Many are devotees of Lord Vishnu, one of the three major gods of Hinduism.
What are their needs? This relatively wealthy, well-educated community is still in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. It will take special ambassadors of the King of kings to approach them in a way they can understand and embrace.
Prayer Points * Pray for God to raise up the right people to go to the Marathis as His ambassadors.
* Pray that Marathis in Mauritius will soon experience the love of Jesus Christ and begin to follow Him as their Lord and Savior.
* Pray for a thriving church planting movement among Marathi speaking people to begin in Mauritius.