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  • Bengali Hindus are ethnic Bengali adherents of Hinduism, and native to the Bengal region of the Indian Subcontinent. Bengali Hindus speak Bengali, which is classified as a part of the Indo-Aryan language family and adhere to the Shakta and Vaishnava traditions of their native religion Hinduism. Around the 8th century, Bengali branched off from Magadhi Prakrit, a derivative from Sanskrit that was prevalent in the eastern region of the Indian Subcontinent at that time. During the Sena period the Bengali culture developed into a distinct culture within the Hindu civilization. With the spread of Islam in the region in subsequent centuries, Islamic characteristics grew among Bengalis who converted to that religion, although Bengali Hindus and Muslims continued to have significant similarities. Bengali Hindus were at the forefront of the Bengal Renaissance in the 19th century. The Bengal region was noted for its participation in struggle for the independence from the British rule. At the time of independence of India in 1947, the province of Bengal was partitioned between Bengali Hindus and Bengali Muslims into West Bengal and East Bengal, parts of India and Pakistan, respectively.

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