Hinduism in Ghana

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Hinduism in Ghana was first introduced by Sindhi settlers who migrated to Ghana after India was divided in 1947.[1][2] It was spread to Ghana actively by [Ghana's Hindu Monastery] headed by Swami Ghananand Saraswati[1] and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Population[edit]

In 2009, of the 12,500 Hindus in Ghana, 10,000 are indigenous Africans. Swami Ghananand Saraswati has set up five temples in Ghana which have been the cornerstone of the African Hindu Monastery (AHM). The Indian community in Ghana participates in the AHM, but also has its own temples (most for the Sindhi community).[3] ISKCON also has a fairly large presence in the nation, as do śishya (disciples) of Sathya Sai Baba.[4] Hinduism is the fastest growing religion in Ghana.[1]

Beliefs and practices of Ghanaian Hindus[edit]

Aside from the basic beliefs of Reincarnation and Karma that are attributed to a vast majority of Hindus, Ghanaian followers of Hindu tradition have a few specific beliefs and practices that are primarily emphasized. First and foremost, the primary indication that a person in Ghana is a believer of the Hindu faith is that he or she has made the decision to not include meat in their diet. This is considered a primary indicator due to the fact that other Hindu practices such as prohibition from illicit sex and abstinence from alcohol are also commonly demanded by other Ghanaian religions, while the avoidance of meat is rather unique. Ghanaian Hindus tend to avoid meat consumption due to the belief that witchcraft can be transferred into a person's body through the digestion of a possessed animal's meat. Stemming from this idea, the second defining belief of Hindus in Ghana is the notion that cows are sacred beings that must not be harmed, but rather revered. This belief comes from the understanding that when the Hindu deity Krishna was incarnated on Earth, he came as a cowherd. Also, the Vedic Hindu Goddess Aditi is portrayed as a cow who's milk is identified with the invigorating drink "soma" which is believed to nourish creation. This Ghanaian Hindu belief is also a defining one, as not only do a majority of Ghanaians eat cow's meat daily, but the remaining resources from the cow's body are also commonly used for other practical tasks in traditional Ghanaian lifestyles. [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ghana's unique African-Hindu temple - BBC News By Rajesh Joshi
  2. ^ International freedom Report 2006 - US Department of State
  3. ^ Indians in Ghana - Indian Diaspora
  4. ^ The Swami Of Accra Tehelka - August 15, 2009
  5. ^ Wuaku, Albert. 2009. "Hinduizing from the Top, Indigenizing from Below: Localizing Krishna Rituals in Southern Ghana". Journal of Religion in Africa. 39: 403-428.cATLA Religion Database with ATLAserials, EBSCOhost.

External links[edit]