Hindi in South Africa

Photo Source:  Sonam Prajapati - Pixabay 
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People Name: Hindi
Country: South Africa
10/40 Window: No
Population: 476,000
World Population: 2,758,300
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.60 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language. Many Hindi words are borrowed from the Sanskrit language, and it is written in the Devanagari script. Hindi is so similar to Urdu that the two languages are mutually intelligible. The main difference is that Urdu speakers are almost always Muslim and Hindi speakers are Hindu. Of all the Hindi speakers living outside India, the majority live in the neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, and Afghanistan. Others live in various countries throughout the world.

Hindi is more of a language than a people group distinction. In reality, Hindi-speakers are a collection of ethnic and social groups. But when it comes to the Hindi-speaking Diaspora, things change. South Asians in a foreign setting often come together for various events that are unique to South Asia. For example, all South Asians, no matter what their language, will come together to celebrate India's Independence Day. Each language group also has their own separate cultural and social events.

When the British colonizers brought Indian indentured servants to South Africa, they had to find a common language. They used Hindi, but eventually each gravitated to their own language and English.

It is usually the higher castes and educated people who leave India and migrate to other countries. These people now hold a wide variety of occupations. While most have kept various aspects of the Hindi culture, they are all affected by the local cuisine, culture and language. Most of the Hindi speakers and other South Asians in South Africa live in the city of Durban.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In their new countries, Hindi speakers have set up Indian spice shops, video stores, and small businesses in urban settings. They are commonly working in the tech industry, as engineers or in the medical profession. A smaller number of them have low-paying jobs in Indian restaurants or as construction workers.

In diaspora, Hindi speakers are losing some of their South Asian ways. They usually wear Western style clothes. Many drink wine and eat every kind of meat except beef. Hindu women have the right to divorce and remarry. Though it is still common to have an arranged marriage, these people often select their own spouse from internet sources. Others choose their own spouse with parental approval.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of Hindi speakers practice Hinduism. Hinduism is more an identity than a religion. The Hindu religion offers a reason to come together with other South Asians for social events. These events include Diwali and other Hindu celebrations.

Members of the high castes typically view Hinduism as a philosophy. Others view it as a religion. They worship gods that they believe can benefit them in practical ways. They make sacrifices and offerings to their gods to earn their favor, appease them and avoid calamity.

Orthodox Hinduism teaches that the soul never dies. When the body dies, the soul is reborn or reincarnated. The soul may be reborn as an animal or as a human. They worship some gods in the form of animals. The law of karma states that every action influences how the soul will be born in the next reincarnation. If a person lives a good life, the soul will be born into a higher state. If a person leads an evil life, the soul will be born into a lower state.

What Are Their Needs?

The Hindi speaking diaspora needs to find a new love—a love for Jesus Christ, the one who offers them life to the full. As it stands, most are satisfied with religion.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Hindi speakers in South Africa to have hearts that are open to the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.

Pray for Hindi families to prosper financially and spiritually as they experience a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pray for a movement to Christ among Hindi speakers that will spread joy, peace and salvation to other peoples.

Pray for the leaders of the Hindi speakers in South Africa to have a spiritual hunger that will drive them to the empty grave.

Text Source:   Joshua Project