"We cannot accept to share bread and wine as a symbol of believing in Jesus Christ. – But we can share bread and wine as a symbol that we are one family."
Dies sagen die Adivasi Janaki, Omana und Velan über ihre Teilnahme an multi-religiösen Zeremonien in Deutschland mit dem Adivasi-Tee-Projekt. Über den Glauben der Adivasi in den Nilgiris-Bergen sagen sie weiterhin folgendes:
"We adivasi people believe in natur and worship nature elements like mountain, river, forest which are gifts from god. For us god means the spirits. We don´t worship gods who have created the world. But we worship Guliyan, which is a guarding deity in the forests. Once in a year worship will be offered to the deity Guliyan by offering chicken.
Kavu is our holy place of worship to the spirits. It is found in the forest under the Banian tree and near a river. We light a lamp made of mud and keep it in the place of worship.
We celebrate other religious festivals also. During Putheri the harvested crop will be placed in front of the Deivapura in each adivasi village and worshipped and the new harvest of paddy will be distributed to every house in the village. Twice a year we celebrate a Pooja for Onam and Vishu festival. Coconut, Pori, Avil, beetel leaf, arch nut and coins tied in a cloth piece will be kept in banana leaf in front of the deity in their respective houses. Once a year the different generations of an adivasi family together offer food to their ancestors. At this Uchar festival in March or April the family will think of their ancestors and sing and dance during this event.
During our religious festivals and ceremonies we adivasi will call the spirits. Adivasi also call the spirits to get their approval when we have to travel long, or perform some cultural activity in another village. The village elder tosses a coin up in front of the place of worship. This is done till the head of the coins comes and is considered to mean an approval from the spirits and ancestors for the plan.
Some adivasi families also pray to hindu gods in addition to their traditional believes. Normally most of the adivasis go to hindu temples to offer worship and go to non-tribal festivals in their areas. But people from other communities or religions do not come to take part in our religious activities. Sometimes visitors are interested and come to the forest and our places of worship. If we have any family function, we call both tribal and non-tribal friends and neighbours and they together will take part in our function. We also take part in functions of other friends or families.
We feel that adivasis should retain their own identity and religion which is already there and that needs to be preserved. We cannot follow the things wich affect our identity, other dress codes and fashions, and we do weddings in our traditional way of ceremony. But, if there are good things in other religions they can be followed to the extent those things do not affect our life or culture but have good effects. For instance to develop the habit of savings or to provide a good education. There is nothing wrong in admitting our children in other schools. At school children may learn about other religions to know about other religions.
When we do an interreligious ceremony with our friends from the Adivasi-Tee-Projekt in Germany, both of us share parts of our religious ceremonies. It is good that they are doing their part and we are doing our part. We cannot accept to share bread and wine as a symbol of believing in Jesus Christ. – But we can share bread and wine as a symbol that we are one family."