|Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan|
|Population: 1,014,003,817 (July 2000 est.) - Capital: New Delhi|
|Ethnics Groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%|
|Languages: Hindi is primary tongue of 30% of people; Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, & Sanskrit are also official; English is important for political & commerce|
|Religions: Hindu 80%, Muslim 14%, Christian 2.4%, Sikh 2%, Buddhist 0.7%, Jains 0.5%, other 0.4%|
Background: Swahili, also called Kiswahili, is a Bantu language primarily of Eastern Africa. The dialect spoken in Zanzibar Town (kiUnjuga) was chosen as the basis for the Swahili to be used in publishing and education throughout East Africa. In addition to creative writing, there has been a long tradition of historical writing in Swahili, antedating the colonial era. In more recent times, linguistic studies and a body of literary criticism in the language have begun to develop and grow.
Background: Palestinian religious beliefs between 3000 and 300 BC are usually defined by the languages of those who practiced them: e.g., Amorite, Hurrian, Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic, and Moabite. Knowledge of the religions of these groups is very uneven. Only from the city-state of Ugarit (14th-13th centuries BC) is there a wide range of religious expression.