Hindu is a religion; Hindi is a language

Oh! westerner, please understand this. We don’t speak Hindu, neither are Indians Hindis. Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India, but that doesn’t make us Hindis. A majority of Indians are Hindus (acc to the latest census) , but that doesn’t mean that we speak Hindu. We also don’t speak Indian, by the way!
I understand the situation that you are in, with the people of Spain speaking Spanish, people of Germany speaking German , the English speaking English and so on. But, we don’t ever ask you “Do you speak Christian?”, do we?
I am an Indian first and everything follows after. The religion i follow is Hinduism and you know what, i don’t speak Hindi! Not all Hindus speak Hindi. Similarly, not all Hindi speaking people are Hindus!
I am sure that you must now be in the exact situation you were in, before reading this post. But, the main idea was to convey the message that Hindu is a religion and Hindi is a language. Don’t mix these up.
But, why this post suddenly ? I have recently become a big fan of the Jeopardy Quiz Show shown on MBC 4 every morning. Yeah, this is not the same season as in the US but a rerun of old seasons, nevertheless, the topics are interesting and the questions, smart. One of the questions today morning was
Hindi faithful make regular pilgrimages to & bathe in this 1,560-mile river of Northern India.

The answer to the above was obvious. “What is the Ganges?” But the point is, it is not the Hindi faithful who go there, but the Hindu faithful. How can such a reputed quiz show ask a question like this? But its ok, they are pardoned. They set thousands of questions, so one mistake can be ignored.

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4 comments on “Hindu is a religion; Hindi is a language
  1. Anonymous says:

    “saare-jahan-se accha” the unofficial national song of India has the lines :
    maj hab nahee sikhAtA Apas me’ byr rakhnA,
    hindee hai hum, vatan hai hindo’stA hamArA

    So perhaps we all are Hindis :)

  2. Even though the song written by Iqbal says “hindii haiN ham watan hai hindositaaN hamaraa” it doesn’t mean he is calling us “Hindis”. This obviously is not a “Hindi” term. Hindi in this instance would mean someone from “hind” which is obviously India. If I’m not mistaken, this would be a term from Persian for someone who is from Hind (India). I had written a similar article on my blog about the difference between Hindi – Hindu – Indian when our major English Newspaper here in Montreal wrote “Hindi community [...]” or “Lahore India” :-) I don’t think such mistakes should be forgiven as they simply propagate ignorance about the correct terminology and especially in this day and age, correct terminology is very important in my humble opinion.

  3. jasy says:

    Obvious Hindi is a language and Hindu is a religion, but Hindi language is not related to any caste, it is a national language of Hindustan n is related to Hinduism. But what i say is we should not relate it to any of the Indian caste or state. Hindi and English are official languages of Hindustan (India) and each state has it own language.. Like : AndraPradesh :Telugu, Maharashtra : Marati, TamilNadu : Tamil, Gujarat : Gujarati, Karnataka : Kannada and so on…

  4. Shishank jain says:


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