Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Hinduism in Suriname

  • Stuart Earle StrangeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_153


Surinamese Hinduism is the majority religion practiced by Surinamese people of South Asian descent. Surinamese Hinduism emphasizes the ritual, philosophical, and communal centrality of Vedic revelation. It is primarily divided between majority Sanatan Dharm and minority Arya Samaj doctrines. Sanatan Dharm emphasizes the central ritual role of Brahmin priests and image-based devotional worship of the classical Hindu gods like Vishnu and his avatars, as well as Shiva, and the Goddess. Arya Samaj is a protestant reform movement that rejects Brahminical authority and the Hindu deities. As one of the country’s major religions, Hinduism plays an influential role in defining Surinamese society.


Hinduism is the second largest religion in Suriname (120,623 practitioners of an estimated national population of 541,638 (Suriname Census 2012)). Surinamese Hinduism is deeply marked by the country’s unique demographic and geographic history. With a small but very diverse...


Hinduism Caribbean Hinduism Suriname Indenture Ethnicity Kinship Reform Movements Ritual Healing 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA