Day 10. Nai in India (nah-EE)
The Hindu Nai people are located throughout India. Historically, they are barbers—cutting hair and nails. Their skills also include minor medical services like extracting teeth, bloodletting and setting broken bones. Because working with body fluids is considered “polluting,” they are classified as Other Backward Caste (OBC) or even Scheduled Castes (Dalits or outcastes). Nai visit people’s homes to do their job, so the barber plays an important role in village life, spreading news and matchmaking. Some castes even assign a special role to the barber in their domestic rituals.
In modern India, castes are being disrupted as large-scale occupational changes are taking place. When the Nai adopt other skills or professions, the lower castes sometimes take over their job as barbers. Currently, many of the Nai children stop attending school after a few years to help their parents earn a living, so the literacy rate is low among the Nai people.
The Nai worship the Hindu gods and believe evil spirits and local deities are the cause of trouble and diseases. They frequently go to shamans for their spiritual and medical needs. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection, benefits and being freed from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
Prayers for the families of the Nai of India:
Lord, send believing families to live among the Nai, to love them, to live out Jesus’s teachings, to pray for them, to bless their communities and share the Nai’s burdens. Through Jesus, show the Nai that You freely love, forgive and heal them, as they repent, put off the old and put on the new.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in their language (Hindi) to spread through their homes and communities. Lord, send people to teach literacy to the adults and working teens. Meet their needs for access to easy modern Hindi translations.
Lord, raise up Nai families of peace so that their communities come to faith in Jesus and are freed from the fear of death and reincarnation. Lord, restore families through repentance, forgiveness, healing, and teaching in power so evil spirits and strongholds are overcome in their communities.
God’s blessing upon the Nai: Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. (2 Cor. 2:14)