The term, Hindu, was first mentioned in the ancient writings from Greece and Persia as an identifier for inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent. Until about the mid-20th century, colonial laws still considered all Indian religions to be Hinduism including Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. According to scholars, distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs is only a recent phenomenon.
Hinduism nowadays contains a broad range of philosophies, but most Hindus share philosophical concepts, texts and common ritual grammar, such as wedding or birth rituals.
Hindus practice any one of the various forms of yoga in order to achieve moksha -- complete spiritual liberation in one's current life and salvation in the afterlife. Hindus can be devoted to a personal god and perform ritual prayers.