Hinduism in Belgium

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Hinduism is a minority religion in Belgium.

Hinduism is spread to Belgium mainly by ISKCON and Brahma Kumaris.

There are around 6,500 Hindus in Belgium which includes 1,500 Hare Krishnas and 5,000 other Hindus.[1] There are several hundreds of ethnic Balinese people living in Belgium, and a large temple spread over 135 acres was inaugurated in 2009.[2]

Indian Community in Belgium[edit]

There are about 7,000 persons of Indian origin in Belgium.

The average per capita income of Belgium is US$ 23,861. While the per capita income of the Indian community is not available, they are mainly to be found in the professional and more prosperous sections of society. Indians are employed in Software, the Diamond business and a few local industries in cities like Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels and Liege.

A section of immigrants from Palanpur district in Gujarat had entered the port city of Antwerp to work with the Jewish community in the diamond business, and eventually started their own.

The Antwerp Indians still form a very tightly knit group and actively celebrate Indian festivals.

Indian Software companies like Aricent, HCL, TCS, Daffodil Software Ltd and Infosys have a presence in Belgium while Indian Software Professionals are in great demand by multinationals like Swift, Compaq and Alcatel, because they are generally cheaper to employ than local Europeans with the same skills. The professional Indians in Belgium represent the modern, youthful face of India.

Some Farm labourers and Shop-hands, mainly immigrants from North India have also managed to enter Belgium illegally [1]

Indian Associations in Belgium[edit]

Despite the small size of the community there are several Indian cultural associations. The leading ones are Indo-Belgian Association, INDIAN CULTURAL CENTRE asbl and Antwerp India Association.

The Indian community respects the tradition of the other communities but strictly follows the vedic values and culture. Meditation, Yogas, Aaurvedas are the key points of Indian land which are largely applied in western countries. They are also hugely pratiquant of celebration and praying. Pandit Ji Mallavazzala. Harinath Sharma manages his time for the worship and praying in Hindu community in Belgium.he is performing rituals in Hindu community from 2003 till now.

The Hindu Forum of Belgium - HFB or FHB - was created by Hindu organisations in Belgium. It was launched on the 16th of March 2007 in Brussels

The Indian community enjoys good relations with the local population. Due to their small size they are not politically active. The Indian community is law abiding.

A handful of Indians work in the financial institutions based in Luxembourg, which boasts an Indian Association. As in the Netherlands, Belgians regularly adopt children from India [2]

There are about 250 families engaged in diamond trade in Antwerp. Many of the other Indians living in Belgium are professionals employed with either multinational companies or other professional organisations Indian community in Belgium

Indo-Belgian Association VZW-ASBL[edit]

Indo-Belgian Association or InBelg has emerged as the largest Indian non-profit organization with more than 9000 people in it. The main objective of InBelg is to organize events for, about and around Indians and India-related themes in Belgium and elsewhere. InBelg has 8 units which are formed to organize city specific or group specific events. These units are InBelg Gent, InBelg Brussels, InBelg Leuven, InBelg Antwerp, InBelg Women's Club, InBelg Students Club, See-EU and See-India. InBelg organizes around 60 events throughout the year which includes Indian Festivals, Bollywood Movie Shows, Food Fairs, India-Info evenings, Trips to various parts of Europe, Lectures, Indian Cooking Lessons, Workshops around Indian themes and so on. Their website is www.InBelg.eu

Nepalese Hindu Community in Belgium[edit]

It is estimated that around 6000 Hindu of Nepalese origine are staying in Belgium. Leuven, Antwerpen, Brussels and Brugge are major cities where nepali Hindu are living. They organize different cultural and religious activities on special occasion each year in common place. The main rituals like Nwaran, Pasni, Birth day, Bratabandha, Marriage, Griha prabhesh are performed on at their home. Besides, they have been organizing devi puja and Shiva Puja on Navarati and Shivaratri.

Hindu Organizations[edit]

Sanatan Dharma Sewa Parisad[edit]

It is the oldest Hindu cultural association on Belgium. Different Puja and praying are organized by in special occasion like shivaratri and Shravan Month. Since last few years, it has been celebrating Shree Krishnastami festival with ISKCON in Durby.

Jayatu Sanskritam[edit]

This association is working to promote Hindu traditional culture in Belgium. It was the main organizer of “Shremad Bhagabat Mahapuran” held in Leuven in 2011. It was a huge Mahayaga organized for the first time in Belgium and around 5000 devotees were actively participated. Other associations like Sai Pariwar Belgium, Sanatan dharma sewa parisad were actively present there.

Satya Sai Pariwar[edit]

Satya sai bhajan mandali is next Hindu association of Nepalepse people in Belgium. They organize Sai bhajan every Sunday in Leuven, Antwerpen and Oostende. They have also collaboration with Satya Sai Kendra of Brussels.

Temple and Priest[edit]

Nepali community has not built temple yet but they have always a project to establish it to preserve the Hindu culture and the tradition. Shreemad Bhagabat Mahayagya was ornanized to meet this target but it is still in process. Mr. Ram Hari Shasti has contributed his time and effort as a Hindu priest for Nepalese and Hindu community in Belgium.

ISKCON in Belgium[edit]

ISKCON Belgium has centres in Antwerp, Septon and Gent. An Iskcon Temple is located in Radhadesh, Belgium.

ISKCON Centres in Belgium[edit]

ISKCON has seven centres in Belgium. They are

Centre 1- ISKCON, Antwerpen, Belgium

Centre 2- Local Get-together Program, Gent, Belgium

Centre 3- Local Get-together Program, Gent, Belgium

Centre 4- Bhaktivedanta College, Septon-Durbuy, Belgium Hindu Vaishnava university in Belgium

Centre 5- Bhaktivedanta Library Services (BLS), Septon-Durbuy, Belgium

Centre 6- Govinda's Radhadesh, Septon-Durbuy, Belgium

Centre 7- ISKCON Radhadesh, Septon-Durbuy, Belgium

External links[edit]

References[edit]