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Hinduism in Australia

Shiva Vishnu Temple in Melbourne.

Hinduism is a minority religion in Australia consisting of more than 440,300 followers, making up 1.9% of the population as of the 2016 census. Hinduism is one of the fastest growing religions in Australia mostly through immigration.[1] Hinduism is also one of the most youthful religions in Australia, with 34% and 66% of Hindus being under the age of 14 and 34 respectively.[2] The rapid increase in the population has fostered the creation of numerous Hindu enclaves within Australia.

Australian Hindus
Total population
440,300 (2016)
1.90% of the Australian population
Regions with significant populations
Sydney · Canberra · Melbourne · Adelaide · Perth · Brisbane
Languages
English, Indian languages, Fiji Hindi, Mauritian Creole, Nepali
YearPop.±% p.a.
1911 414—    
1933 212−3.00%
1986 21,500+9.11%
1991 43,580+15.18%
1996 67,270+9.07%
2001 95,473+7.25%
2006 148,123+9.18%
2011 275,534+13.22%
2016 440,300+9.83%

In the nineteenth century, the British first brought Hindus from India to Australia to work on cotton and sugar plantations. Many remained as small businessmen, working as camel drivers, merchants and hawkers, selling goods between small rural communities. Nowadays Hindus are well educated professionals in fields such as medicine, engineering, commerce and information technology, constituting a model minority.[citation needed] The Hindus in Australia are mostly of Indian origin, with considerable number being of Sri Lankan, Fijian, Malaysian, Singapore, Nepalese origin.

As a community, Hindus live peacefully and in harmony with other local populations. They have established many temples and other religious meeting places and celebrate most Hindu festivals.

HistoryEdit

The following dates briefly outline the arrival of Hinduism.

  • As early as 300AD – Indonesian Hindu merchants make contact with Australian Aborigines.[citation needed]
  • 1788 – Indian crews from Bay of Bengal came to Australia on trading ships.[3]
  • 1816 – Domestic servants in European households left the port of Calcutta to take up labouring work in Sydney.
  • 1844 – P. Friell who had previously lived in India, brought 25 domestic workers from India to Sydney and these included a few women and children.[4]
  • 1850s – A Hindu Sindhi merchant, Shri Pammull, built a family opal trade in Melbourne that has prosperously continued with his third-to fourth-generation descendants.[5]
  • 1857 – The census showed a mere 277 Hindus in Victoria. The gold rush years attracted many Indians to Australia and across the borders to the gold mines in Victoria.
  • 1893 – The census showed that 521 Hindus were living in New South Wales.
  • 1901 – Just about 800 Indians lived in Australia, the majority of them lived in northern NSW and Queensland.
  • 1911 – The census counted 3698 Hindus in the entire country.[6]
  • 1921 – Less than 2200 Indians lived in Australia.
  • 1971 – Swami Prabhupada arrives in Australia and founded first Hare Krishna centre in Sydney.[7]
  • 1977 – The first Hindu temple in Australia, the Sri Mandir Temple, was built. Established by three devotees; Dr Prem Shankar (from Ujhani, UP), Dr Padmanabn Shrindhar Prabhu and Dr Anand, who bought an old house in Auburn NSW and paid $12000.00 to convert it into a temple.[8][9]
  • 1981 – The census recorded 12,466 Hindus in Victoria and 12,256 in NSW from a total of 41,730 in the entire country.
  • 1985 – A Hindu society, the Saiva Manram, was formed to build a temple for Lord Murukan. Since its inception, Lord Murukan has been called 'Sydney Murukan'. The Saiva Manram has worked hard for nearly ten years to build a temple for Lord Murukan.
  • 1986 – According to the 1986 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 21,000.
  • 1991 – According to the 1991 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 43,000.
  • 1996 – Hindus with their birthplace in India made up 31 per cent of all Hindus in Australia. But the census also showed there were 67,270 Hindus living in Australia.[10]
  • 2001 – According to the 2001 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 95,000.[11]
  • 2003 – Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Temple was formed to build a temple for Lord Ganesha/Ganapathi/Vinayakar. Since its inception, Lord Ganesh has been called 'Sydney Ganesh Temple'. "www.vinayakar.org.au"
  • 2006 – According to the 2006 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 145,000.[12]
  • 2011 – According to the 2011 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 275,000.[13]
  • 2015 – Daniel Mookhey becomes the first Australian MP to be sworn into office by swearing his/her oath on the Bhagavad Gita.[14]
  • 2016 - 2016 Census data states that Hindus comprise almost 2% of the Australian population, surpassing the percentage of Hindus(1.85%, as of the latest 1998 Census) in Pakistan.
  • 2018 - Kaushaliya Vaghela becomes the first Indian-born Hindu Member of Parliament in any Australian Parliament.

DemographicsEdit

Hindu population by yearEdit

Year Percent Increase
1986 0.14% -
1991 0.25% +0.11%
1996 0.38% +0.13%
2001 0.51% +0.13%
2006 0.75% +0.24%
2011 1.28% +0.53%
2016 1.90% +0.62%

Hindus by state or territoryEdit

 
Hinduism is the fastest growing religion in absolute numbers in every state and territory of Australia.
 
People who are affiliated with Hinduism as a percentage of the total population in Australia divided geographically by statistical local area, as of the 2011 census

Data from the 2011 Census showed that all states(and A.C.T and the Northern Territory) apart from New South Wales had their Hindu population double from the 2006 census. New South Wales has had the largest number of Hindus since at least 2001.

State or territory Population 2016 census Percentage 2016 census Population 2011 census Percentage 2011 census 2011–2016 growth Reference
New South Wales 181,402 2.4% 119,843 1.7% +61,559 [15]
Victoria 134,939 2.3% 83,102 1.6% +51,837 [16]
Queensland 45,961 1.0% 28,609 0.7% +17,352 [17]
Western Australia 38,739 1.6% 21,048 0.9% +17,691 [18]
South Australia 22,922 1.4% 13,616 0.9% +9,306 [19]
Australian Capital Territory 10,211 2.6% 6,053 1.7% +4,158 [20]
Northern Territory 3,562 1.6% 1,642 0.8% +1,920 [21]
Tasmania 2,554 0.5% 1,608 0.3% +946 [22]

The majority of Australian Hindus live along the Eastern Coast of Australia, mainly in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney. About 39% of Hindus lived in Greater Sydney, 29% in Greater Melbourne, and 8% each in Greater Brisbane and Greater Perth. The states and territories with the highest proportion of Hindus are the Australian Capital Territory (2.57%) and New South Wales (2.43%), whereas those with the lowest are Queensland (0.98%) and Tasmania (0.50%).[23]

According to the 2006 Census, 44.16% of all Australians who were born in India were Hindu, so were 47.20% of those born in Fiji, 1.84% born in Indonesia, 3.42% from Malaysia, and 18.61% from Sri Lanka.[24]

In Tasmania, Hinduism is practised mainly by the ethnic Lhotshampa from Bhutan.[25]

Hindu convertsEdit

Hinduism is also more popular among the Anglo-Australians.[26] Many Caucasians in Australia also visit the Hindu temple at Carrum Downs (Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple) and learn Vedic Hindu scriptures in Tamil.[27] The ISKCON Hindu community in Australia has 60,000 members - 70% of whom are Hindus from overseas, with the other 30% being Anglo Australians.[28] The 2016 Census noted 415 Hindus belonging to the indigenous community of Australia (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people).[29]

LanguagesEdit

Less than 17% of the Australian Hindus use English as their home language. The number of Australian Hindus speaking various languages in their home according to the 2006 census:[30]

Language Y 2011 Y 2016 Change
Total 275,534 440,300 59.80%
Hindi 81,892 119,284 45.66%
English 39,800 58,855 47.88%
Tamil 36,940 53,766 45.55%
Nepali 21,766 50,629 132.61%
Gujarati 29,250 45,884 56.87%
Telugu 16,717 30,723 83.78%
Punjabi 9,442 16,546 75.24%
Malayalam 5,938 11,687 96.82%
Marathi 8,774 11,589 32.08%
Kannada 5,383 8,783 63.16%
Bengali 5,685 8,481 49.18%
South Asian nfd 3,531 3,770 6.77%
Indonesian 1,171 1,755 49.87%
French 1,180 1,401 18.73%
Fijian Hindustani 572 1,257 119.76%
Mauritian Creole 514 883 71.79%
Konkani 609 845 38.75%
Oriya 282 694 146.10%
Indo-Aryan nfd 1,988 633 -68.16%
Malay 435 591 35.86%
Tulu 348 543 56.03%
Sindhi 277 521 88.09%
Assamese 165 302 83.03%
Vietnamese 109 225 106.42%
Fijian 129 213 65.12%
Sinhalese 232 163 -29.74%
Italian language 158 158 0.00%
Balinese 129 156 20.93%

Hindu temples in AustraliaEdit

The first Hindu religious centre was a Hare Krishna centre founded by Swami Prabhupada in Sydney.[31] It was in 1977 the first Hindu temple in Australia, the Sri Mandir Temple, was built.[32] Now,[when?] there are around forty-three Hindu temples in Australia.[33]

Contemporary societyEdit

According to a national survey reported in 2019, Hindu Australians experienced the highest rates of discrimination.[34] The survey showed that a three quarters of respondents (75%) had experienced discrimination on public transport or on the street.[35] The total fertility rate (TFR) among Hindus is also the least in Australia with 1.81,which is lower than Christians(2.11) and Muslims(3.03).[36]

Overseas territoriesEdit

Hinduism is practised by the small number of Malaysian Indians in Christmas Island.[37][38]

Image galleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Melbourne's fastest-growing religion". Theage.com.au. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 April 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Indian overseas Population - Indians in Australia. Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin". NRIOL.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Early Disciples Celebrate Forty Years of ISKCON in Australia".
  8. ^ "History - SRI MANDIR". www.srimandir.org.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Statistics, c=AU; o=Commonwealth of Australia; ou=Australian Bureau of. "Main Features - Census shows non-Christian religions continue to grow at a faster rate". www.abs.gov.au.
  11. ^ "Hinduism". www.ncls.org.au.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Hindu fastest growing religion in australia - visareporter".
  14. ^ Hasham, Nicole (12 May 2015). "Labor MLC Daniel Mookhey makes Australian political history by swearing on the Bhagavad Gita". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  15. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  16. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  17. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  18. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  19. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  20. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  21. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  22. ^ "Religion - Australia - Community profile". profile.id.com.au.
  23. ^ "Census TableBuilder - Dataset: 2016 Census - Cultural Diversity". Australian Bureau of Statistics – Census 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  24. ^ "2914.0.55.002 2006 Census Ethnic Media Package" (Excel download). Census Dictionary, 2006 (cat.no 2901.0). Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  25. ^ http://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/upload/diverse-faiths.pdf
  26. ^ https://www.boldsky.com/insync/life/2017/how-is-hinduism-growing-in-australia-111810.html
  27. ^ https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-rise-of-hinduism-in-australia-will-it-continue
  28. ^ https://www.thecitizen.org.au/articles/more-australians-putting-their-faith-hinduism
  29. ^ http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/2071.0~2016~Main%20Features~Religion%20Article~80
  30. ^ "Census 2011 Australia | ABS Population Income | SBS Census Explorer". Sbs.com.au. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  31. ^ http://iskconnews.org/early-disciples-celebrate-forty-years-of-iskcon-in-australia,2635/
  32. ^ http://www.srimandir.org/aboutus/history
  33. ^ http://hinducouncil.com.au/new/our-teams/member-organizations/
  34. ^ https://www.bharattimes.com/2017/02/28/49-per-cent-australians-want-migrants-assimilate/
  35. ^ https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/newscentre/news_centre/story_archive/2017/national_survey_finds_australians_worried_about_relatives_marrying_muslims
  36. ^ http://theconversation.com/factcheck-qanda-the-facts-on-birth-rates-for-muslim-couples-and-non-muslim-couples-in-australia-81183
  37. ^ http://www.cidhs.cx/island-induction
  38. ^ Simone Dennis (2008). Christmas Island: An Anthropological Study. Cambria Press. pp. 91–. ISBN 9781604975109.

SourcesEdit

Byrnes, J 2007,'Hinduism', Religion and Ethics <http://www.abc.net.au/religion/stories/s790133.htm> https://web.archive.org/web/20140812214434/http://www.theindiansun.com.au/top-story/australias-oldest-hindu-temple-readies-janmasthami/

External linksEdit