Hinduism in Vietnam

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Hinduism in Vietnam is practised mainly by the ethnic Cham people.[1] Balamon Cham is one of only two surviving non-Indic indigenous Hindu peoples in the world.[2] Hinduism is not one of the 15 religions recognized by the Vietnamese Government.[3]

Cham Hindus[edit]

Ganesh Temple in Po Nagar

The majority of Cham in Vietnam (also known as the Eastern Cham) are Hindu while their Cambodian counterparts are largely Muslim.[4] Hindu Chams are called Balamon Cham or Balamon Hindu.[5] They practice a form of Shaivite Brahmanism.[6] Most of the Cham Hindus belong to the Nagavamshi Kshatriya caste,[7] but a considerable minority are Brahmins.[8] In Ninh Thuận Province, where most of the Cham in Vietnam reside, Cham Balamon (Hindu Cham) numbers 32,000; out of the 22 villages in Ninh Thuận, 15 are Hindu.[9] Only four temples are still worshiped in nowadays: Po Inu Nugar, Po Rome, Po Klaung Girai and Po Dam.[2] Binh Thuan Provinces

Cham Hindus believe that when they die, the sacred bull Nandi comes to take their soul to the holy land of Indi.[10] The main festival of Cham Hindus is the Kate festival,[11] or Mbang Kate.It is celebrated for 3 days at the beginning of October.[12]

As per the census of 2009, there are a total of 56,427 Cham Hindus in Vietnam. Out of this number, 40,695 are in Ninh Thuận, and another 15,094 are in Bình Thuận. [13] In Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces they form 22% and 4.8% of the population respectively.[13] As of 2017, the United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor estimated about 70,000 ethnic Cham Hindus in Vietnam.[3]

Cham Hindu Temples[edit]

Indian Hindus[edit]

There are 4,000 Indian (Tamil) Hindus in Ho Chi Minh City.[14] The Mariamman Temple, Ho Chi Minh City is their focal point.It is also considered sacred by many native Vietnamese and Chinese.It is also believed to have miraculous powers and is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Mariamman.[15]

There are three Indian Hindu temples in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)-Sri Thendayuthapani temple, Đền Subramaniam Swamy temple and Mariamman Temple.[16]


According to the recent government census in 2009, only the population of Balamon Hindu were included who in numbers were 56,427. Out of this number, 40,695 are in Ninh Thuận, and another 15,094 are in Bình Thuận.It doesn't included the Tamil Hindu population.[13] However ,according to an official estimate by the UK embassy there are 1,500 Hindus in Vietnam,who are probably the Tamil Hindus.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hindus of Vietnam - Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine". www.hinduhumanrights.info.
  2. ^ a b Parker, Vrndavan Brannon (April–June 2014). "Cultures: Vietnam's Champa Kingdom Marches on". Hinduism Today.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  3. ^ a b "International Religious Freedom Report for 2017: Vietnam". US State Department. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  4. ^ "Cham - Introduction, Location, Language, Folklore, Religion, Major holidays, Rites of passage". www.everyculture.com.
  5. ^ "The Cham: Descendants of Ancient Rulers of South China Sea Watch Maritime Dispute From Sidelines". National Geographic News. 18 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Religion and expressive culture - Cham". www.everyculture.com.
  7. ^ India's interaction with Southeast Asia, Volume 1, Part 3 By Govind Chandra Pande, Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy, and Culture, Centre for Studies in Civilizations (Delhi, India) p.231,252
  8. ^ "Vietnam". International Religious Freedom Report 2004. U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2002-10-22. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  9. ^ Other place where they are found in hgher numbers is Bình Thuận Province. Champa and the archaeology of Mỹ Sơn (Vietnam) by Andrew Hardy, Mauro Cucarzi, Patrizia Zolese p.105
  10. ^ Roy, Sandip. "Leaps of faith". @businessline.
  11. ^ Reporter, W. H. N. (13 October 2018). "Exhibition on Vietnam Hindu Cham Brahman Community Opens".
  12. ^ "Kate Festival". www.vietnamonline.com.
  13. ^ a b c http://www.gso.gov.vn/Modules/Doc_Download.aspx?DocID=12724
  14. ^ "Hindus of Vietnam - Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine". Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine. 19 October 2012.
  15. ^ Arachika Kapoor (2017-03-01). "Ho Chi Minh City Tourism holds roadshow in New Delhi | Media India Group". Mediaindia.eu. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  16. ^ Powell, Michael (26 May 2017). "Three Hindu Temples in Saigon".
  17. ^ "Vietnam: country policy and information notes". GOV.UK.