The provision of religious and cultural information by the reformed Hindu organisations in the greater Ethekwini region.
The reformed Hindu organisations play a major role in the provision of religious and cultural support within the local Hindu community. This study examines the role played by the reformed Hindu organisations in the provision of religious and cultural information within the greater Ethekwini region. The research methodology includes triangulation, where qualitative and quantitative research is employed. Interviews, historical research, observation as well as document and content analysis assists in the collation of information. This exploratory study seeks to determine the kinds of information formats and methods of dissemination that are used by the organisations. Religious and cultural information offered through other services such as the languages classes are discussed. The Indian languages used by the religious leaders are explored. The level of library services offered, the contents and authorship of the published material are investigated. Non-print media and problems associated with the use of the non-print media are discussed. Also discussed are interpersonal means of information dissemination and preservation, like the oral tradition of singing and delivering talks. Essential details of classification in ancient Indian libraries are included in the study since libraries have been a part of Hindu temples and universities from ancient times. Brief historical information regarding the arrival of the Indians in South Africa and the subsequent establishment of the Hindu religion within KwaZulu-Natal is provided. Reasons for the development and support given to the establishment of the reformed Hindu organisations are outlined. An analysis of the interviews conducted covering all the objectives of the study is also included. The collections held by the different libraries/library services are analysed. The significant role played by the reformed Hindu organisations in the preservation and dissemination of religious and cultural information presented in a variety of formats is discussed in the concluding remarks. The researcher has included recommendations that would benefit the participating organisations in their efforts as preservers and disseminators of religious and cultural information.