Introduction / History
If you belong to the Darai people, you had better get along with your brothers and sisters in law, especially if your spouse has health problems. The reason is that you will marry your spouse's younger sibling if he or she dies. Most commonly, brothers from one family each marry sisters from another family. So the two families joined by matrimony have many good reasons to get along. If there are disputes, there is a community council to solve them. This community council also helps prevent child marriages, divorce and dowry abuses among the Darai people.
Where are they located?
They live in rural areas of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Those in Himachal Pradesh traditionally carried people across rivers either in boats or on inflatable skins.
What are their lives like?
Today many are fishermen, rope makers or common laborers on roads, dams, or rock quarries. A few of these scheduled caste members hold white-collar jobs. They take advantage of government programs to help them obtain land, fertilizers, livestock and higher literacy. This helps to supplement their incomes.
They speak either Bilaspuri or Kangri, both Indo-Aryan languages. There are members of their community living in nearby Punjab who speak the Punjabi language. The Darai people to the west in Punjab state traditionally transported timber by river floats, but today most are landless laborers.
What are their beliefs?
The Darai people are almost entirely Hindu. Like most members of low status communities, they worship several gods, and their form of Hinduism resembles animism.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among the Darai people in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in such a way that they will see that He is Lord of all and worthy of their complete devotion. Pray for the Lord to thrust out laborers to the Darai people.