Indians in the Netherlands

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Indians in the Netherlands
Total population
Regions with significant populations
The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Zoetermeer, Almere
Caribbean Hindustani/Bhojpuri/Sarnami, Hindi, Dutch, English, Sranan Tongo and various other languages
Hinduism, Sunni Islam,
Roman Catholicism and Protestantism
Related ethnic groups
Non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin

Indians in the Netherlands are an ethnic group of Indian origin in the Netherlands. Most of the Indians in the Netherlands are of Surinamese origin. Just before and just after the independence of Suriname on 25 November 1975 many Indians emigrated to the Netherlands. They are mainly located in the cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Almere and the municipalities around it.

Indians of Surinamese origin are also known as Hindoestanen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌɦɪnduˈstaːnə(n)]). Hindoestanen is a Dutch word derived from Hindustani, a Persian word for someone from Hindustan (India). Hence, when Indians migrated to the Netherlands they were referred to as Hindustanis, people from Indian origin.


After the Dutch government signed a treaty with the United Kingdom on the recruitment of contract workers, the Indians began migrating to Suriname in 1873 from what was then British Raj as indentured labourers, many from the modern-day Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and the surrounding regions.

Just before and just after the independence of Suriname on 25 November 1975 many Indians emigrated to the Netherlands, mainly because of the uncertain future that awaited them. A large part of this population was against the detachment of the Netherlands. Initially they were using a dispersal from centers throughout the Netherlands. Later many of them moved to the big cities where relatives and friends lived. Currently there are more than 120,000 Indians living in the Netherlands, of which the majority, about 50,000, in The Hague and surroundings. The neighborhood Transvaal in The Hague is also called "Little India", and has many Indian shops. In recent years, many, especially young Indian families moved to the latest housing developments around The Hague, such as Pijnacker-Nootdorp and Ypenburg. The social control in the community is high. Culture, family, language, India and Suriname are strong binding factors. For the Hindus plays pandit an important role as progenitor.

Mixed marriages between Indians and others are common, though not many. There are very few marriages between Hindus and Muslims. For the purpose, the Indian population seem quiet, well integrated and without major social problems. There is strong social pressure and the family decides very much. Arranged marriages are very common. In the Netherlands the suicide rate among Indians is relatively high.[1]

In 2011, Indian homosexuals were involved for the first time at the Canal Parade of the Amsterdam Gay Pride.


The majority religion among the community is Hinduism, practiced by the majority (65%) of the people, followed by Islam (25%) and Christianity (5%). Among the Hindu Indians about 60% follow traditional Hinduism that they call Sanatan Dharm to differentiate themselves from the 25% who belong to the reform movement Arya Samaj, started by Swami Dayananda Saraswati. There are about 30,000 Indian Muslims in the Netherlands. Of them, 60% are Sunni and 40% Ahmadiyya. There are also Indian Christians, mostly converts made among the Hindus or from Goa, and there are now also Indian atheists and agnostics.


Dutch, English, Sarnami Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi, Bhojpuri).

Notable Indians in the Netherlands[edit]

Organisation working with Indians and Buinesses[edit]

  • The Netherlands-India Chamber of Commerce and Trade (NICCT)
  • Europe India Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands (EIBG)
  • India Netherlands Business Association [INBA]
  • Netherlands India Business Meet
  • Indian Expat Society
  • Netherlands India Association (NIA)
  • Bridging the gap foundation (BTG)
  • Dutch Indian youth Association (DIYA) [2]
  • Indyana Magazine (First Indian English Magazine in the Netherlands)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hindoestanen plegen vaker zelfmoord
  2. ^ India in Netherland

External links[edit]