Africa, rich in natural wealth and diversity, is also called the primitive land of humans. Amazing traditions from animals and birds to tribal tribes are also found here. The peculiarity is that in recent years Indian culture and people have taken an important place here. Geophysicist Ratnesh Pandey, by profession, told Navbharat Times Online that once feared tribal species fought each other, but they began to find their way into Indian customs and social traditions. As China gets involved in the debt trap of African countries, the love of the Indian community has gradually increased and peace has started to spread here. Here are excerpts from a conversation with Ratnesh Pandey.
All religions live together
Before Christianity and Islam, many religions were also prevalent in Africa, some of which are still practiced today. Even today, most people are Muslims or Christians. Here, 45% of the population is Muslim and 40% Christian. At the same time, 15% of people of other religions are living. The Hindu population is estimated to be around 6,67,694 in East Africa, around 12,69,844 in Southern Africa and around 70,402 in West Africa.
Relationship that has lasted for centuries
The history of cultural relations between India and Africa has been very interesting. India has a centuries-old relationship with Africa due to its colonial history. When India was a British colony, most of Africa’s territories were also under the control of the British Raj. The British brought Indians as laborers to Africa in the 19th century to lay railroads and do agricultural work. Many of them were from Hindu laborers, who gradually settled in Africa. Gujarati businessmen have also settled in Africa for trade. There is a distinct attraction among the local people on Indian culture, due to which it thrives. (Photo: AFP)
An example of this can be found in Ghana where Swami Ghanan and Saraswati founded the African Hindu Monastery and Temple in 1975. Swami Ghananand was born in a village in Ghana. Swami Ghanananda used to say that from his childhood he used to think about the mysteries of the universe. He then embarked on a trip to Rishikesh where Swami Shraddhanand advised him to return to Ghana and establish a temple. The number of local people coming to this temple gradually increased and with this the Hindu population also crossed about thirty thousand.
A culture spread in all countries
Local Indians have built many temples and shrines in South Africa, including the ancient Mount Edgecomb Ganesh temple in the village of Inanda which was built in 1799 by Christappa Reddy. Such an image is also observed in Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique. The traditional Indian Teej festivals are celebrated here with great pomp and show. A large Ganesh immersion procession also takes place in Liberia. In the modern era, the group of the International Krishna Consciousness Society (ISKCON) has done a lot of work and expanded Indian culture. Tanzania currently has a population of around 50,000 people of Indian descent and a large number of Hindu temples and community centers have been established here, where Indian colors are visible.