Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
Hinduism in Australia
Hinduism is a minority religion in Australia consisting of more than 440,300 followers, making up 1.9% of the population as of the 2016 census. Hinduism is one of the fastest growing religions in Australia through immigration. Hinduism is one of the most youthful religions in Australia, with 34% and 66% of Hindus being under the age of 14 and 34 respectively; the rapid increase in the population has fostered the creation of numerous Hindu enclaves within Australia. In the 19th century, the British first brought Hindus from India to Australia to work on cotton and sugar plantations. Many remained as small businessmen, working as camel drivers and hawkers, selling goods between small rural communities; these days Hindus are well educated professionals in fields such as medicine, engineering and information technology, constituting a model minority. The Hindus in Australia are of Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysia, Singapore and Bangladesh origin, with some originating from other parts of the Indian subcontinent including Sindh.
As a community Hindus live peacefully and in harmony with the local populations. They have established a number of temples and other religious meeting places and celebrate most Hindu festivals; the following dates outline the arrival of Hinduism. As early as 300AD – Indonesian Hindu merchants make contact with Australian Aborigines. 1788 – Indian crews from Bay of Bengal came to Australia on trading ships. 1816 – Domestic servants in European households left the port of Calcutta to take up labouring work in Sydney. 1844 – P. Friell who had lived in India, brought 25 domestic workers from India to Sydney and these included a few women and children. 1850s – A Hindu Sindhi merchant, Shri Pammull, built a family opal trade in Melbourne that has prosperously continued with his third-to fourth-generation descendants. 1857 – The census showed a mere 277 Hindus in Victoria. The gold rush years attracted many Indians to Australia and across the borders to the gold mines in Victoria. 1893 – The census showed that 521 Hindus were living in New South Wales.
1901 – Just about 800 Indians lived in Australia, the majority of them lived in northern NSW and Queensland. 1911 – The census counted 3698 Hindus in the entire country. 1921 – Less than 2200 Indians lived in Australia. 1971 – Swami Prabhupada arrives in Australia and founded first Hare Krishna centre in Sydney. 1977 – The first Hindu temple in Australia, the Sri Mandir Temple, was built. Established by three devotees. 1981 – The census recorded 12,466 Hindus in Victoria and 12,256 in NSW from a total of 41,730 in the entire country. 1985 – A Hindu society, the Saiva Manram, was formed to build a temple for Lord Murukan. Since its inception, Lord Murukan has been called'Sydney Murukan'; the Saiva Manram has worked hard for nearly ten years to build a temple for Lord Murukan. 1986 – According to the 1986 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 21,000. 1991 – According to the 1991 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 43,000. 1996 – Hindus with their birthplace in India made up 31 per cent of all Hindus in Australia.
But the census showed there were 67,270 Hindus living in Australia. 2001 – According to the 2001 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 95,000. 2003 – Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Temple was formed to build a temple for Lord Ganesha/Ganapathi/Vinayakar. Since its inception, Lord Ganesh has been called'Sydney Ganesh Temple'. "www.vinayakar.org.au" 2006 – According to the 2006 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 145,000. 2011 – According to the 2011 census, the number of Hindus in Australia surpasses 275,000. 2015 – Daniel Mookhey becomes the first Australian MP to be sworn into office by swearing his/her oath on the Bhagavad Gita. 2016 - 2016 Census data states that Hindus comprise 2% of the Australian population, surpassing the percentage of Hindus in Pakistan. Data from the 2011 Census showed that all states apart from New South Wales had their Hindu population double from the 2006 census. New South Wales has had the largest number of Hindus since at least 2001; the majority of Australian Hindus live along the Eastern Coast of Australia and are located in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
According to the 2016 census, the Hindu population numbered 440,310 individuals, of whom 39% lived in Greater Sydney, 29% in Greater Melbourne, 8% each in Greater Brisbane and Greater Perth. The states and territories with the highest proportion of Hindus are the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, whereas those with the lowest are Queensland and Tasmania. According to the 2006 Census, 44.16% of all Australians who were born in India were Hindu, so were 47.20% of those born in Fiji, 1.84% born in Indonesia, 3.42% from Malaysia, 18.61% from Sri Lanka. Many local Australians are interested in learning Hinduism. Hinduism is more popular among the Anglo-Australians. Many Caucasians in Australia visit the Hindu temple at Carrum Downs and learn Vedic Hindu scriptures in Tamil; the ISKCON Hindu community in Australia has 60,000 members - 70% of whom are Hindus from overseas, with the other 30% being Anglo Australians. The 2016 Census noted 415 Hindus belonging to the indigenous community of Australia.
Less than 17% of the Australian Hindus use English as their home language. The number of Australian Hindus speaking various languages in their home according to the 2006 census: Indian migrants speak Hindi, Tel
Indians are the nationals or citizens of India, the second most populous nation in the world, containing 17.50% of the world's population. "Indian" refers to nationality, rather than a particular language. Due to emigration, the Indian diaspora is present throughout the world, notably in other parts of Asia, North America, the Caribbean and Africa; the demonymn Indian today applies to nationals of the Republic of India, although before the partition of India in 1947, nationals residing in the entirety of British India were known as Indians as well. The name Bhārata has been used as a self-ascribed name by people of the Indian subcontinent and the Republic of India; the designation "Bhārata" appears in the official Sanskrit name of Bhārata Gaṇarājya. The name is derived from the ancient Vedic and Puranas, which refer to the land that comprises India as "Bhārata varṣam" and uses this term to distinguish it from other varṣas or continents; the Bhāratas were a vedic tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, notably participating in the Battle of the Ten Kings.
India is named after legendary Emperor Bharata, a descendant of the Bhāratas tribe, scion of Kuru Dynasty who unified the Indian Subcontinent under one realm. उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् । वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।। "The country that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bhāratam. In the Hindu text, Skanda Purana it is stated that "Rishabhanatha was the son of Nabhiraja, Rishabha had a son named Bharata, after the name of this Bharata, this country is known as Bharata-varsha." This has been mentioned in Vishnu Purana, Vayu Purana, Linga Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Agni Purana, Skanda Purana and Markandeya Purana that this country is known as Bharata Varsha after Bharat Chakravartin.ऋषभो मरुदेव्याश्च ऋषभात भरतो भवेत् भरताद भारतं वर्षं, भरतात सुमतिस्त्वभूत् Rishabhanatha was born to Marudevi, Bharata was born to Rishabh, Bharatvarsha arose from Bharata, Sumati arose from Bharata — Vishnu Purana In early Vedic literature, the term Āryāvarta was in popular use before Bhārata.
The Manusmṛti gives the name Āryāvarta to "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern to the Western Sea". While the word Indian and India is derived from Greek Ἰνδία, via Latin India. Indía in Koine Greek denoted the region beyond the Indus river, since Herodotus ἡ Ἰνδική χώρη, hē Indikē chōrē; the name is derived from Sindhu, the Sanskrit name of the river Indus, but meaning "river" generically. The history of India includes the prehistoric societies in the Indian subcontinent; the Indian people established during ancient, medieval to early eighteenth century some of the greatest empires and dynasties in South Asian history like the Maurya Empire, Satavahana dynasty, Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Chalukya Empire, Chola Empire, Karkota Empire, Pala Empire, Vijayanagara Empire, Maratha Empire and Sikh Empire. The first great Empire of the Indian people was the Maurya Empire having Patliputra as its capital, conquered the major part of South Asia in the 4th and 3rd century BC during the reign of the Indian Emperors Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka alongside their senior advisor, Acharya Chanakya, the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in the World.
The next great ancient Empire of the Indian people was the Gupta Empire. This period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known as the classical or "Golden Age of India". During this period, aspects of Indian civilisation, administration and Hinduism and Buddhism spread to much of Asia, while Chola Empire in the south had flourishing maritime trade links with the Roman Empire during this period; the ancient Indian mathematicians Aryabhata, Bhāskara I and Brahmagupta invented the concept of zero and the Hindu–Arabic numeral system decimal system during this period. During this period Indian cultural influence spread over many parts of Southeast Asia which led to the establishment of Indianized kingdoms in Southeast Asia. During the early medieval period the great Rashtrakuta dynasty dominated the major part of the Indian subcontinent. From the 8th to 10th century and the Indian Emperor Amoghavarsha of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty was described by the Arab traveller Sulaiman as one of the four great kings of the world.
The medieval south Indian mathematician Mahāvīra liv
Hinduism in Fiji
Hinduism in Fiji has a following among the Indo-Fijians, who are descendants of indentured workers brought to Fiji by the British, as cheap labor for colonial sugarcane plantations. Hindus, along with Indian Muslims and Sikhs, started arriving in Fiji starting with 1879 through 1920 when slavery-like indenture system was abolished by Britain; some Indo-Fijians came to the island nation in the 1930s. Fiji identifies people as Indo-Fijians if they can trace their ancestry to the Indian subcontinent, but not India. Most of the Hindus in Fiji, are of Indian descent. According to 1976 Census of Fiji, 40% of its population professed to be Hindus. From late 1980s through early 2000s, Fiji witnessed several coups and communal unrests, where Hindus faced persecution in Fiji. Many Hindus of Fiji emigrated to other countries. A 2004 estimate suggests; the Hindu community in Fiji has built many temples and community centers over time. Diwali is their primary festival of the year. Fiji became part of the British colonial empire in 1874.
Few years in 1879, the British government brought the first Indians on coolie ships, as indentured laborers to work in the sugarcane plantations of Fiji owned by British colonial officials. By 1919, about 60,000 Indians had been brought to Fiji, with job advertisements and work contracts that promised Indians right to return or right to stay, own land and live in Fiji after the 5 year work contract period was over; these contracts were called grimit. Nearly 85 % of Indian origin people brought to Fiji; the indentured laborers were poor, escaping famines and poverty during the British colonial rule of India, brought to Fiji as part of a wave that saw human migration as cheap labor from India and southeast Asian countries to plantations and mining operations in the Pacific Islands, Africa and South American nations. About a fourth of the immigrants came from South India Tamil Nadu, while the remaining 75% are from northern states Uttar Pradesh, but from Bihar, Jharkhand and Punjab - each group bringing their own version of Hinduism.
Many indentured Hindu laborers in Fiji preferred to return to India after their indentured labor contract was over. Estimates suggest 40 % had returned with higher return rates in early years. In 1920, after non-violent civil protests led by Gandhi against indenture system in British colonies around the world, Britain abolished the system; this stopped the inflow of new Indian labor into Fiji plantations, while Indians continued to leave Fiji plantations. The departure of productive, low cost Indian labor became a serious labor shortage problem for the British plantations. In 1929, the British colonial government granted Indo-Fijian Hindus electoral and some civil rights, in most part to stabilize exports and profits from its Fijian sugar plantations and to prevent Indian laborers from leaving from the labor-intensive plantations, but the electoral rights granted were limited, not proportional but racial quota based, the government segregated Indo-Fijians in a manner similar to South Africa, on communal and racial basis from Europeans and native Fijians.
This system was resisted by the Hindus, in an act of peaceful protest, Hindus refused to accept the segregated council. However, within years, the Hindu community split along the lines of majority Sanatan Dharma group and a minority Arya Samaj group, a situation that delayed further development of Indo-Fijian political rights. A colleague of Gandhi, A. D. Patel led independence initiative in Fiji, demanding civil rights for all Fijians. However, the political segregation and unequal human rights for Hindus was retained in Fiji's first Constitution as the British empire granted independence to its colony Fiji in 1970. According to 1976 Census of Fiji, 295,000 people were of Indo-Fijian origins, of which 80% were Hindus. In other words, 40 percent of Fiji's population were Hindus. After a period of persistent persecution from 1980s and several coups, which included burning of Hindu homes, arson of temples and rape, Fiji witnessed a wave of emigration of Hindus and other Indo-Fijians to Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and India.
About 50,000 of them emigrated between 1987 and 1992 alone. The percentage population of Hindus in Fiji has declined since both in total and in percentage terms. According to the Republic of the Fiji Islands' 31 December 2004 estimate, 38.1 percent of the population of Fiji is Indo-Fijian, 79.8 percent of Indo-Fijians are Hindus. Therefore, about 30 percent of the population of Fiji is Hindu; the Hindu population in Fiji is not uniformly distributed. Population in some villages and towns such as Nadi and Nausori area have a Hindu majority; the social structure among Fijian Hindus has lacked any caste structure. Scholars suggest that this lack of formation or observance of caste system among Fijian Hindus may have been because of the nature of work in Fijian plantations where everyone's profession revolved around farming, because Fijian Hindus lived together from the time they arrived in coolie ships, because of demographic constraints faced by them. Extensive exogamy has been observed among Hindus of Fiji since the earliest days of plantation settlements, just like in other major indentured Hindu labor settlements in Mauritius and the Caribbean.
As with South Africa, the British colonial officials segregated people by ra
Hinduism in New Zealand
Hinduism is the second largest and the fastest growing religion in New Zealand, with over 90,000 adherents making up over 2.11% of the population, according to the 2013 Census. The number of Hindus in New Zealand grew modestly until the 1990s with the Immigration Act 1987, the Immigration Amendment Act 1991 and India's economic liberalisation. Hinduism makes up 2.1% of the New Zealand population, is the fastest growing religion in the country. In 1836 the missionary William Colenso saw Māori women near Whangarei using a broken bronze bell to boil potatoes; the inscription around the rim read ‘Muhayideen Baksh’s ship’s bell’ in old Tamil script. This discovery has led to speculation that Tamil-speaking Hindus may have visited New Zealand hundreds of years ago. However, the first noted settlement of Hindus in New Zealand dates back to the arrival of sepoys in the 19th century, with the first communities from the Punjab and Gujarat arriving in the 1890s; until the 1980s all Hindu migrants came from Gujarat.
They arrived from all over India and from elsewhere, including Sri Lanka and South Africa. In the 1991 Census, surging migration as a result of the Immigration Act 1987 made the number of Hindus surpass 17,000. India's Economic Liberalisation occurred in the same year, increasing the standard of living and allowing more immigrants to come in the future; the 1996 New Zealand Census showed the eased immigration laws resulted in the number of Hindus growing from 18,000 in 1991 to surpassing 25,000 for the first time. This was due to the continued success of the Immigration Act 1987. In the 2001 Census, the population of Hindus was at 40 000, meaning that the number of Hindus tripled in the 10 years since the 1991 census; the 2006 census showed the number of Hindus to be 64,557, an increase of nearly 62% from the previous census in 2001. The growth of the number of Hindus in New Zealand slowed in the years between the 2006 Census and the 2013 Census because of a mixture of events; the heightened violence against Indian Australians and the 2011 Christchurch earthquake were the main reasons why growth of Hindus declined.
The latter was the main reason why the Census year was moved from 2011 to 2013. The slowdown in long term migration was offset by soaring numbers of Indian Students and Skilled Migrants, whose numbers increased during the Great Recession due to costs being cheaper and a better economic outlook; the conducted 2013 Census showed the Hindu population made up over 2% of the population, with 90,018 adherents. This increased Hinduism's share of the total New Zealand population by 0.5% despite immigration slowing as a result of the events mentioned earlier. For more detailed analysis, see Religion in New Zealand Jews and Hindus hold the highest education level in New Zealand; the first Hindu organisation -The Hindu Council of New Zealand was formed in the mid-1990s and is affiliated to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a global Hindu organisation. HCNZ has hosted annual New Zealand Hindu conferences since 2007, it has established the Hindu Heritage Centre, Hindu Social Service Foundation, Hindu Elders Foundation and Hindu Youth New Zealand, runs youth and family camps.
In 2010 HCNZ launched Hindu Organisations and Associations, a representative body for Hindu groups in New Zealand. Other Hindu organisations include Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Sathya Sai Organisation, Art of Living Foundation, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Sewa International and Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation. List of Hindu Temples in major New Zealand cities. Cities are ordered by the number of Hindu Temples; the name of the Mandir is in bold and the location is in italics. Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam http://aalayam.org.nz/ is located in 69, Tidal Road, Auckland. It is a temple with South Indian style granite deities; the deities in the temple are Lord Ganesh, Lord Muruga, Lord Shiva, Lord Parvati [Tamilarasi Nayagi, Lord Perumal, Lord Hanuman, Lord Kalabairavar, Lord Munneshwarar, Lord Maaduari Veeran, Navagrahas. The Bharatiya Mandir is located in Balmoral and contains Deities of Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Rama and Goddess Seeta, Lord Hanuman.
There is a Tamil-style Thirumurugan Temple in Otahuhu. The temple has Deities of Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Goddess Rajarajeswari Amman, Lord Bhairava and the Navagrahas; the Sri Ganesh Temple is located in Papakura. The temple has Deities of Lord Shiva, Lord Kamakshi, Lord Kartikeya and Parvati. There is a Radha-Krishna Temple in Eden Terrace Ram Krishna Temple in Papatoetoe The International Swaminarayan Satsang Organisation runs a Swaminarayan Temple in Auckland; the main Deities are Ghanshyam Maharaj, Nar Narayan Dev, Radha Krishna Dev and Ram Parivar as well as Kul Devs of the local community.* BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Auckland. The main deities are Akshar-Purshottam Maharaj, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pragat Aksharbrahma His Divine Holiness Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj Wellington Hindus can worship at the Kurinchi Kumaran Temple in Newlands, it has Deities of Lord Murugan and Lord Shiva and many more. It was the first South Indian style Hindu temple to be established in New Zealand, it features ancient temple architecture.
It is located in 3 Batchelor Street Newlands Wellington. The Wellington Indian Association run a North Indian style Temple with Deities of Lord Rama, Goddess Seeta and Lakshmana, Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna, Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman. Members of the Ta
Réunion is an overseas department and region of France and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius. As of January 2019, it had a population of 866,506; the island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from France and Madagascar settled there. Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848, when the French Second Republic abolished slavery in the French colonies; however on indentured workers were brought to Réunion from South India, among other places. The island became an overseas department of France in 1946; as in France, the official language is French. In addition, the majority of the region's population speaks Réunion Creole. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, an integral part of the republic with the same status as Metropolitan France. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone.
Not much is known of Réunion's history prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin; the island is featured on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island might have been visited by Swahili or Austronesian sailors on their journey to the west from the Malay Archipelago to Madagascar; the first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorer Diogo Fernandes Pereira, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island might have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favourite saint, which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery could have been 9 February, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Réunion and Rodrigues in 1509. By the early 1600s, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia untouched.
The island was occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, the island was claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar; the convicts were returned to France several years and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the French royal House of Bourbon. Colonisation started in 1665. "Île de la Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention Nationale with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of "Bourbon".
When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of "Bourbon" until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again given the name "Île de la Réunion". From the 17th to 19th centuries, French colonisation, supplemented by importing Africans and Indians as workers, contributed to ethnic diversity in the population. From 1690, most of the non-Europeans were enslaved; the colony abolished slavery on 20 December 1848. Afterwards, many of the foreign workers came as indentured workers; the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the importance of the island as a stopover on the East Indies trade route. During the Second World War, Réunion was under the authority of the Vichy regime until 30 November 1942, when Free French forces took over the island with the destroyer Léopard. Réunion became a département d'outre-mer of France on 19 March 1946. INSEE assigned to Réunion the department code 974, the region code 04 when regional councils were created in 1982 in France, including in existing overseas departments which became overseas regions.
Over about two decades in the late 20th century, 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France to Creuse, ostensibly for education and work opportunities. That program was led by influential Gaullist politician Michel Debré, an MP for Réunion at the time. Many of these children were disadvantaged by the families with whom they were placed. Known as the Children of Creuse and their fate came to light in 2002 when one of them, Jean-Jacques Martial, filed suit against the French state for kidnapping and deportation of a minor. Other similar lawsuits were filed over the following years, but all were dismissed by French courts and by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. In 2005 and 2006, Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006; the neighbouring islands of Mauritius and Madagascar suffered epidemics of this disease during the same year.
A few cases appeared in mainland France, carried by people travelling by airline. The French government of Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth €36 million and deployed about 500 troops in an effort to eradicate mo
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water