Leonie’s host family got a new car, which they want to bless according to Indian tradition in a Hindu temple. During the ceremony, her host father tells her more about religion in India.

Host father

The main religions in India are Hinduism (80.5%), Buddhism and Jainism (2.3%), Christianity (2.3%), Islam (13.7%) and Christianity (2.3%) and the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jaism and Skihism emerged  out of India. Religion is extremely important in India and influences society through the caste system, culture through the many temples and politics through the secular state.


Sounds interesting! Since Hinduism has the most followers in India, can you tell me more about it?

Host father

Sure. Since 94% of the world´s Hindus live in India, it is indeed considered Indias main religion. Scroll through the images and hold your computer mouse on the picture to learn more about the general principles of Hinduism!

Host father

Now that you’ve gathered a bit of basic knowledge about Hinduism, I’d like to teach you more about the westernized image of Hinduism. Read the text to learn more about it.

The religious orientation of Hinduism that we commonly know is not identical to the conception of the Hinduists in India, but a westernized version of it, as the West first tried to understand religions in India with their own terms and categories. Thus, the West declared Hinduism as the Indian religion, the Vedas as the script of Hinduism, and the Shankaracharyas as their popes. Even the term “Hinduism” is a Western term since followers prefer the term “Santana Dharma” (the eternal religion). In reality, however, there are many different currents grouped under the term Hinduism, ranging from indigenous peoples (autochon) to modern approaches to reforming Hinduism (Brahmo). However, there is a well-known and sensible approach to categorizing Hinduism, which divides Hinduism into two traditions. The Great Tradition (about 20% of the Hindus) is neo-traditionalist and consists of the classical traditions of the upper and middle caste. The little tradition (about 80% of the Hindus) is the westernized tradition of the lower castes.

On her last day, Leonie celebrates the Diwali festival with her host family

Happy Diwali!!

In northern India, Diwali celebrates the return of the god Rama after defeating the demon Ravana. Legend has it that people put oil lamps along the way home so that he can find his way home in the dark.

Oil lamps

Leonie’s host family has lit several nations to celebrate the victory of light over the dark by Rama’s return.


Before the party at home, Leonie’s host family goes to the temple to worship the gods


Leonie and her host family dress on the Diwali evening in all traditional Indian clothes and decorate the house with rangolis, figures made of colourful sand, which are supposed to embellish the houses for the gods.


At home, Leonies’ host mother has put flowers, lights, and traditional food to the statues of the gods. To honor them, the food is first offered to the gods and then eaten by the host family.