A Hindu, as per modern definition, is an adherent of philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, the predominant religious, philosophical, and cultural system of the Indian subcontinent and the island of Bali. Historically, Hindus can be referred to as the successors of Vedic Aryans and other tribes of India. Most of the Hindus today live in India. Another popular name for India is Hindustan, meaning the land of Hindus.
As of 2005, there were approximately 1.02 billion Hindus. The vast majority live in the Indian subcontinent, the birthplace of Hinduism. The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is the world's only Hindu nation. Though the majority of the Indian population practices Hinduism, 82%, India is a secular republic. Large Hindu communities, mostly expatriates from India, live in South East Asia, North America, the West Indies, Western Europe, the Middle East, East Africa and South Africa. The Hindus of Bali, and in other parts of Indonesia are indigenous Indonesian Hindus.
Hindu culture, especially the Yogi or Sadhu, sometimes practice inner conch piercing and tongue splitting. It is also noticable that many women practice both ear and nostril piercing, and the art of Mehndi (commonly referred to in the west as henna tattooing). Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration which is normally reserved for special occasions. The patterns of Mehndi are generally quite intricate, and are applied to brides before wedding ceremonies.