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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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Hindus in Australia have increased since 2011 Census. Wikimedia
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  • 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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Puja for The Spiritualism, Not for Vulgar Entertainment

The westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures" and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those "holy books" only in the drawers of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods' idols !!!

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Hinduism
he westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures"

By Salil Gewali

Any auspicious days in Hinduism are expected to be observed with a complete purity of action and thought. The same holds true for other religions too. As per the Hindu scriptures, the believers are required to stay away from any kind of sense gratifications, particularly when the specific days are dedicated to Gods and Goddess such as Navratri, Laxmi Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Shivaratri, to name a few. The pathway to devotion and spiritualism should not be “desecrated” by the blot of the brazen entertainment. The scriptures logically explain why it is antithetical, and its adverse consequences.

Hindusim
Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.

 But, what a huge irony, rather a blasphemy that many people these days have started to choose the auspicious days of Gods to satisfy their base senses. Without a wee bit of regret, a certain class of people holds almost every auspicious day as the most “unmissable” occasion to booze with the friends, and what not, and stagger back home, lol! Such bizarre practices are fast catching now than ever.  Sadly, hardly any conscious people and spiritual organizations stand up and take the right measures to check such godless deviations.

What is quite unpleasant is that such a kind of unholy practices are often being facilitated by certain “Hindu intuitions” as well. On this past Laxmi Puja, the “propitious time” to perform the ritual had fallen between 6 PM to 7:53 PM. Yours truly decided to use that span of time for meditation. But hell broke loose. Apart from fireworks around, the Bollywood songs in high decibel burst forth from a certain Hindu institution quite frustrated the mission.

Hindusim
Sadhu Sanga Retreat, 2016

 One senior citizen laments – “Nothing could be irreligious than the fact that a favorable time for “puja” is also being used for the wrongful purposes. We rather expect the “Hindu institutions” to teach our children Bhajan, Kirtan, and other spiritual activities, not the loud and feverish parties and disturb others.”

Another college student adds “Having been much disturbed by the noise pollution, I have persuaded my parents to shift our place of residence to elsewhere, not at least near holy places with an unholy mission. I have started to see such institutions with the eyes of suspicion these says.” Is it that our institutions are unable to use their “discretion”, and as a result, they fail to differentiate between right and wrong?  One is deeply apprehensive that Bollywood songs and vulgar dances might as well be included as a part of the “puja ritual” as we have long accepted the fun of fireworks bursting as an integral part of Laxmi Puja which in fact is just an entrenched “misconception”.

Hinduism
Hinduism is expected to be observed with a complete purity of action

Needless to say, our roar for consumerism has almost drowned the whisper of inherent spiritualism. We are only just sending out the wrong messages. I’m afraid, the whole culture itself might be looked down with derision by other faiths. It might just become a subject of ridicule! It is no exaggeration, such negative notions against the “wrong practices” are all what we often read these days in several newspapers and social media. Do we want others to demean our profound spiritual heritage thus?  I believe it calls for a serious soul-searching.

Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.  It warns in the strongest terms that mankind should absolutely be careful not to fall under the influence of any short-lived sense gratifications. Or else, our endeavor to “practice and preserve” the sanctity of a religion/spiritualism will be a futile exercise.

However, on the other hand, the westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our “scriptures” and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those “holy books” only in a drawer of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods’ idols !!!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.

Twitter:@SGewali.