Caribbean Hindustani

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Caribbean Hindustani
Sarnami Hindustani
Native to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, Caribbean
Native speakers
unknown (150,000 in Suriname cited 1986)[1]
16,000 in Trinidad (1996); a few elders in Guyana
Language codes
ISO 639-3 hns
Glottolog cari1275[2]

Caribbean Hindustani is a dialect of Bhojpuri spoken in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, and the rest of the Caribbean that has East Indian influence. These countries put an adjective before the name of the language, so that the local language variant is known for instance as "Sarnami Hindustani" in Suriname. Most people still call the language "Hindustani".

After Dutch and Sranan Tongo, Sarnami Hindustani is the most widely spoken language of Suriname. The language is spoken by the descendants of emigrants from the current Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, they are in Suriname and the Netherlands known as the Hindoestanen (sing. Hindoestaan). Because the predominance of Bhojpuri speaking emigrants, the Caribbean Hindustani and Sarnami Hindustani are most influenced by Bhojpuri and other Bihari varieties. The Hindostani are one of the largest ethnic groups in Suriname, and Indian culture in general has a major role within the Indo-Surinamese community.


The Caribbean Hindustani of neighboring Guyana, known as Aili Gaili, is spoken by a few older members within a community of 300,000 Indo-Guyanese.

The variant spoken in Trinidad and Tobago is known as Trinidad Bhojpuri. In 1996, it was spoken by 15,633 people.[1]


  1. ^ a b Caribbean Hindustani at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Caribbean Hindustani". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.