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Australian Census of 2016 Reveals Some Captivating Facts about Hindus

As compared to 2016, this year there were more Hindus celebrating the Ganesh festival in Australia

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Australian Census
Hindus in Australia have increased since 2011 Census. Wikimedia
  • As compared to 2016, this year there were more Hindus celebrating the Ganesh festival in Australia
  • The Hindu population in Australia has increased by 60% in 2016 since the Census of 2011
  • The median age of Hindus residing in Australia was calculated to be 31 years

Australia, August 27, 2017: The Ganesh festival of 10 days is amongst the most important Hindu festivals and this year it was celebrated on 25 August. As compared to 2016, this year there were more Hindus celebrating this festival. The Census of Population and Housing conducted in 2016 displayed that in Australia Hindu religion was growing the fastest between the year 2011 and year 2016.

As per the 2016 Census, around 440,300 people in Australia reported that they are Hindus which counts up to 1.9% of the total population. This shows an increase of 60% since the Census of 2011 which represented that the population of Hindus was 275,535.

ALSO READ: Sankashti Chaturthi: Here is Why it is celebrated in Hinduism to honor Lord Ganesha!

New South Wales, Australia’s most crowded state with a population amounting to just under 7.5 million, houses around 180,000 Hindus.The Australian Capital territory had nearly 2.6% of the total population, i.e, 400,000 people reporting Hinduism as their religion.

The Australian suburbs comprising largest amount of Hindus reside in Victoria and New South Wales- Point Cook (VIC), Tarneit (VIC), Blacktown (NSW), Parramatta (NSW), and Westmead (NSW).

The interesting part is that Western Sydney houses the suburbs of NSW containing highest number of Hindus-

Wentworthville (35%), Westmead (41%), Bungarribee (37%), Girraween (43%) and Harris Park (45%).

Hinduism is more prevalent in the younger generation. The median age of people following Hinduism in Australia was calculated to be 31 years which is much lower when compared to the median age of overall Australian population, 38 years.

Only 51% of the total Hindu population living in Australia were India-born. About 27% hindus in Australia speak Hindi, 13% speak English and 12% speak Tamil with these three languages being the most common.

The Census conducted in 2016 made use of the recent approach of “digital first” that used newly built Address Register. On the night of the censes, however, an attack of distributed denial of service from another country occurred due to which the forms available online had to be shut down for longer than a day. This incident led to the generation of an independent panel was established comprising international and australian academics, statisticians and  representatives of state government for reviewing and assuring quality outputs from this census.

David W Kalisch, an Australian statistician said, “The 2016 Census had a response rate of 95.1 per cent and a net undercount of 1.0 per cent, meaning the quality is comparable to both previous Australian Censuses and Censuses in other countries, such as New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom.”

He further added, “Sixty-three per cent of people completed the Census online, embracing the digital-first approach and contributing to faster data processing and data quality improvements.”

The ABS conducted a variety of quality checks, which included a Post Enumeration Survey, just to make sure that the data was reliable. “These quality assurance measures, and a range of other factors were considered and verified by the Panel,” he said.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur


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Fireworks Might Extinguish the Flame of Laxmi Puja

We can have various kind of festival enjoyments on Festivals but without ever causing problem to others and the environment

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Fireworks
There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. Pixabay

BY SALIL GEWALI

If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong. There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. To disturb others’ tranquility falls under the heading of vices. Preserving the sanctity of the environment, and more importantly, inner purity of mind and heart is the “prime doctrine” of SANATAN DHARMA which is popularly known as Hinduism. This Hindu culture now seemingly run the risk of having been defined by other communities with what is not very pleasant to hear.

Fireworks
It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment without Using Fireworks.

I’ve overheard many toxic comments against this blatant desecration of auspicious “puja celebrations”. During Holi festival, many people fear to move out of their homes, particularly in certain the plane areas in India. You might be blasted with a bucketful of dirty water by pranksters from the 5th floor of the building. Is this sadism the part of the puja and holi celebration? One is afraid, with each passing year, this festival of color of joy, though having strong spiritual significance, has only painted the very face of Hindu culture with vulgarity and depravity.

Fireworks
If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers, Fireworks and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong.

Matter of fact, peace in one’s life and his efforts to help bring peace in others’ lives is essentially the fundamental basis of Hindu culture and festivals. Practically speaking, there is no devotion to God without “peace”.  Therefore, “Shanti” (peace) is one of the most paramount peace mantras in Sanskrit, not “Ashanti” which, of late, is the hallmark of such Hindu puja celebrations. The profound objective behind this peace mantra, as propounded in Upanishads, inspired even one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century – TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land. That poem finally ends with the same peace mantra — Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Fireworks
TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land.

It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment. There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna LilaRam Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”. Ancient sages in their meditation conceived and authored a number of treatises in which we find the elaborate approaches and procedures to evolve oneself spiritually through fun-filled dances and music. There are “ragas and layas” (musical modes and rhythm), which are meant to “recharge” the mind for the meditative concentrationThe objective behind being to climb up the ladders of realization of oneness and universal uniformity.

Fireworks
There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna Lila, Ram Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation and not Fireworks. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”.

However, there is absolutely no scope or prescription for deriving pleasure or fun by causing pain and anxieties to others? How come bursting high decibel fireworks at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM is puja? In fact, it is called “adharma” or irreligion leading to self-degeneration.

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Therefore, it is DIYA, as per Vedas, which symbolizes the LIGHT to dispel the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of vices, and bring forth the light of knowledge to awake the “inherent” divinity. Goddess Laxmi is the “flame” of feminine ENERGY in the infinite cosmic creation. So, indulging in earsplitting fireworks and causing continuous problem to HER creatures, and HER environment, is totally against the fundamental principle of the devotion in Hinduism. Very sadly, with the blasting of the fireworks in the name of Goddess Laxmi we have invariably set off the tank of vices alone.

Salil Gewali is a well-Known Writer and Author of ‘Great Minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali