In the past, I reached Central Vietnam to see Hinduism in its original form. Upon reaching here, I realized that some traditional things are good, but a lot has changed. Something has left but a lot has been lost.
Conflicting Hindu population in Vietnam
The Champa community is still left with a history of 2000 years, but here Hindu religion is on the brink of ending.
Champa area was the ancient kingdom of Hindu state and Hindu religion in ancient times. The old temple survivors of Champa are witness to the fact that sometimes Hinduism was spoken here.
The local community of Cham’s rule ran from 2nd century to 18th century. The Hindu community had more population in the Cham community. Later many of them adopted Buddhism and Islamism.
Today the Hindu society here has been reduced. To reach them, we arrived at his Megap village.
Hindus settled for centuries
The village was quite small and within a few kilometers from the highway. It was afternoon and the sun was over. A man clothed in a house outside the house, Kurta Dhari Yuva Inra Jaka was talking to someone on the phone. There was food in the kitchen. His language was different from the Vietnamese language. After finishing the matter, he welcomed us and said that he was talking to his father in Cham Language.
Outdoor eating table was set up. One or two sculptures were lying on the door. Inara Jaka and her father, Inarra, were all believed to be Hindu religion whose ancestors had been living in this area for centuries.
The mission of this couple of fathers-son is not only to save Hinduism from outside influences and to keep the Cham Culture alive, but also in the process is the discovery of lost literature and art of the Cham community.
Ina Jaka with his father Inarara Sarah
Inara Sara is also a poet of language and novelist too. He has hardly searched the ancient poets of Cham Literature and published his poems. He says that since childhood, he has heard about the golden age of his community in which there is some reality and some excuses.
“My childhood teachers and relatives have told me about many myths and ordinary lives. As I grew up, my memories got parallel between two worlds – world of myths and world of facts.”
Attempt to preserve Hinduism
If the father is engaged in reviving the literature of the Cham community, then the son can save Hindu religion. He has visited India four times in this attempt and once he has participated in the Vishwa Hindu Sammelan. Son Inra Jaka says, “I try to tell people about Hinduism here by inspiration from India, but here Hinduism is completely different from India.”
From Inra Jaka, we asked what old traditions and customs of Hinduism still remain in their society? He said, “Most of us have heard from our parents and grandparents that we used to worship rocks and worship of the rocks of rocks, we are still devotees of Shiva. Our temples are also Shiva temples.”
Today, the Cham community has a population of 170,000, spread across three provinces, where Hindus have a population above 100,000. There are only four temples in Champa area, two of which are still worshiped today. Here, Hinduism is close to ending. From Inra Jaka, we asked if you have read Ramayana, Bhagwat Geeta or Mahabharata?
He says, “There are no religious books in our community now, so you can say that we have already lost them. Our priests also do not have these books.”
But young Inera further says, “The younger generation of our community is not more familiar with the existence of Hinduism”
Ancestors of Vietnamese Hindus
At one time in the southern cities of Vietnam such as Ho Chi Minh, too many Hindus were inhabited. Even now, some older, some mixed-race people live in this city. Mutayya, who took care of this temple built in the eighteenth century, is half Indian and half Vietnamese. Their ancestors had settled here from Tamil Nadu and they got married here too. They are still associated with Hindu religion.
Mutayya says, “My father taught me how to worship God, I remembered the verse also. I know everything about the temple.”
The Murugan Temple in Ho Chi Minh City was constructed in 1880 by the Tamil community
There are two more temples in this city where people from India come to worship. Many of them have heard about Cham Hindus, but as a tourist, the Cham community is engaged in trying to save their religion and their culture. The shrines of temples here have become the center of attraction for tourists