Difference Between Hindi and Hindu

Hindi vs Hindu

Hindi and Hindu are two words or rather concepts about India that are hard to understand by most of the people living in the western world. There is no similarity in the meanings of these two words though they seem to have originated from the same word Sindhu that the Persians chose to refer to the river Indus that gave birth to Indus Valley Civilization. Sindhu became Hindu and people adhering to Indian religions were called Hindus. Hindi is a major North Indian language and also the national language of the country. This article attempts to take a closer look at these two words to make them clear for the westerners.


Hindu is a word that is used for people of India and practicing one of its many religions namely Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The word does not find any mention in any of the ancient scriptures namely the Vedas. However, Hindu is a word that seems to have come from Sindhu, the name of the river called Indus that led to Indus Valley Civilization, one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Persians also referred to people living in the country as Hindus as they related them with the river Sindhu, and the name stuck as Europeans also called the people of the country as Hindus.

Hindu is not a religious word as is made out by political parties to suit their interests as there are phrases like Hindu vote bank, Hindu appeasement, and so on. Hindu purely remains a word to describe the people belonging to India and practicing any of its religions.


Hindi is the official language of the government of India, and it happens to be the national language. It is spoken and understood by a vast majority of the people in northern, central, eastern, and western parts of the country.

Hindi vs Hindu

• Hindu is a word that refers to people living in India and practicing any one of its different religions.

• Hindi is a language that has been adopted as the national language by the constitution of India.

• Hindu does not mean a religion as has been made out by western media, and the word to describe a religion is Hinduism.

• The word Hindu has come from Sindhu River, which was called Indus by the Europeans later on.

• All Hindus do not speak Hindi as there are many other languages spoken in different parts of the country.

• Many westerners make a mistake of equating the two words Hindi and Hindu when they call people of Indian origin as Hindi.

  • Ly Nguyen

    so how to call a person who belongs to Hinduism?