Introduction / History
Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language. Many Hindi words stem 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 including Mauritius.
What Are Their Lives Like?
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, Hindi speakers who live in Mauritius will socialize with Telugu and Tamil speakers at India's Independence Day celebrations. Yet each language group will have their own events in their own tongue.
Traditionally South Asians came to Mauritius during colonial days. There was a higher proportion of Bihari, Bhojpuri and Hindi speakers in Mauritius than other South Asian languages.
It is 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.
In general, South Asians like Hindi speakers have much economic and political power in Mauritius. 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.
What Are Their Beliefs?
In diaspora, Hindi speakers are losing some of their South Asian ways. They usually wear African or 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.
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.
What Are Their Needs?
Members of the high castes 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.
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.
Pray for the Hindi speakers in Mauritius 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 Mauritius to have a spiritual hunger that will drive them to the empty grave.
Scripture Prayers for the Hindi in Mauritius.