Hindu sects in Trinidad and Tobago
Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council (ICC) is proud to announce the publication of its latest Divali souvenir magazine. Divali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, was observed as a national holiday on Friday November 5, 2010.
The theme of this year’s edition of the magazine is “Hindu sects in Trinidad.” According to the 1990 official census data, Hindus in Trinidad form the second largest religious group in the country, after Roman Catholics. Roman Catholics comprise 29% of the population, Hindus 24%, Anglicans 11%, Muslims 6% and Presbyterians 3%. In a population of over one million, approximately 238,000 persons are Hindus.
Hinduism remains one of the oldest living religions in Trinidad and the wider world. Christians are divided into sects such as Catholicism, Anglicanism, Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. Hindus are also separated into various sects. Traditionally, they have been branched into four main denominations: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smartism.
In Trinidad, Hindus can be further categorised conveniently into sects such as Sanatanist, Arya Samaj, Kabir Panth, Sikh, Shivnarine/Sieunarine, Lord Murugan, Mother Kali, Hare Krishna, Sai Baba, Ganapathi Sachchidananda, Radha Madav, Chinmaya Mission and the Divine Life Society. It is not a simple task to categorise Hindus since they are often open and versatile in their beliefs, practices and affiliations.