Hinduism is practised all over the world, but primarily has its origins in India. The expectations and duties of a Hindu woman and wife are strict, but simple. Hindu women marry very young, so it is rare to find an unmarried woman of Hindu faith. When two people of the Hindu faith marry, they are believed to be joining their souls for the duration of as many as seven reincarnations. The Hindu bride is offered as a gift to the Hindu groom by the gods as a gift of good faith, and the groom is, therefore, required to treat her well.
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Serving Her Husband
A Hindu woman must daily serve her husband by looking upon him as her lord. She is required to give him the same love and affection she would offer her children. She is expected to always be cheerful, even when he is not, and to serve him by treating his friends and relations with respect and service. She is also expected to make herself beautiful when in his presence, and is not to dress up if he is away, as her husband is the only one she should try to please or impress. She is never to associate with other men in an intimate fashion, and she is to keep her greed and passions in full check.
Dharma refers to the religious duties of a practicing Hindu. A Hindu woman is expected to be devout and to fully uphold, support and purport dharma in her household. This includes making appropriate sacrifices of flowers or various articles to her deities, observing all religious rites and holidays, and fasting when required.
A Hindu woman is expected to not only keep her house clean and in good order, but also well decorated to the tastes of her husband. She is also required to feed good meals to her husband and his friends, relatives and associates as a sign of her support of him.
Since the highest purpose of Hindu marriage is procreation, the Hindu woman has the duty to bear children for her husband, and to love, protect and nurture her children with her whole self. Just as it is the husband's duty to respect and nurture his wife, so it is her duty to raise her children in the Hindu faith and love and serve them completely.
Once beyond child bearing and raising, the woman's duties are to continue with honouring her husband, keeping her faith and keeping her house, but they also extend to acting as counsel for younger members of her caste and community. Her wisdom and knowledge at this stage of life is culturally valued, and she instructs and guides younger women in their Hindu duties.
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