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Australia Hindu Council Marks Twenty Years


on 2018/10/29 13:39:05 ( 775 reads )

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AUSTRALIA, October 25, 2018 (Indian Link): The history of Hinduism in Australia goes back to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1787. It is understood that there were some Indians, possibly Hindus, who arrived with early European settlers [half of them convicts]. A recent study of Indigenous Australian DNA suggests there was some form of migration from India to Australia about 4,000 years ago. The first Hindu association called the Sri Mandir Society, established the first Hindu Temple in 1977 in Auburn NSW in an old Salvation Army Hall. The first Hindu temple built in the traditional Indian architecture was the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Helensburgh NSW which opened its doors to the public in 1985. Since then many Hindu temples have been built in every state in Australia.

The late Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami from Kauai Aadheenam, Hawaii USA visited Sydney in 1989. He suggested to a group of local Hindu leaders that the leaders of all the Hindu associations should meet periodically and discuss matters of mutual interest to strengthen the Hindu group. He suggested that we should get together and celebrate Ganesha Visarjana Festival every year. This was agreed upon and the Ganesha Festival was first celebrated in 1990 at the Sri Venkateswara Temple grounds in Helensburgh. It was a grand success with over 30 different associations taking part with many thousands attending. The Hindu Council has now opened up chapters in all the states, and having become a truly national body, has grown from strength to strength. It speaks on behalf of the Hindus at the national level - with government, with the other associations, and with the public. It takes part in a number of multicultural activities and represents Hindus in many interfaith discussions and dialogue. The population of Hindus in Australia has increased substantially during the last two decades. We are now over 1.9% of Australia's population and approximately 500,000 in number, speaking over 12 of the different languages spoken in India.

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