Hindu American

Hindu American Heritage Month – October more info


Hinduism is a minority religion in the United States of America, ranking fourth-largest after Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and constituting 1% of the population. The vast majority of American Hindus are immigrants from South Asia (mainly India, some from Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, and a minority from Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan, and Pakistan). There are also Hindus from Southeast Asia (mainly Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia (especially Bali and Java), Canada, the Caribbean (mainly Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and Jamaica), Oceania (mainly Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand), Africa (mainly Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Réunion, and Seychelles), Europe (mainly United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France), and the Middle East (mainly the Gulf countries), and other countries and their descendants. Additionally, the United States has number of converts to Hinduism. There are also about 900 ethnic Cham people from Vietnam, one of the few remaining non-Indic Hindus in the world, living in America, 55% of whom are Hindus.

While there were isolated sojourns by Hindus in the United States during the 19th century, Hindu presence in the United States was extremely limited until the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Hindu-Americans hold the highest levels of educational attainment among all religious communities in the United States. This is mostly due to strong US immigration policies that favor educated and highly skilled migrants. Many concepts of Hinduism, such as meditation, karma, ayurveda, reincarnation, and yoga, have entered into mainstream American vernacular. According to Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey of 2009, 24% of Americans believe in reincarnation, a core concept of Hinduism. Furthermore, the Hindu values of vegetarianism and ahimsa are gaining in popularity. In September 2021, the State of New Jersey aligned with the World Hindu Council to declare October as Hindu Heritage Month. Om is a widely chanted mantra across the United States, particularly among millennials and those who practice yoga and subscribe to the New Age philosophy.

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