To welcome an Indian Hindu baby into the world, you will need baby gifts that honour the baby's culture. The Hindu baby shower -- known as Godh Bharai or Godh Bharna -- often involves rituals, such as decorating the mother-to-be with jewellery, placing a red dot on her forehead for luck, singing and playing baby games. Whether you plan to attend a shower or simply give a gift of congratulations, honouring the family's culture with appropriate gifts makes the event even more memorable.
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As adorning the expectant mother with jewellery is often part of a Hindu baby shower, a small piece of jewellery is a valued gift. Gold bangles or a gold locket adds to the family's wealth. The mother-to-be can wear the jewellery and even put a picture of herself and her baby in the locket. Later, she can give the jewellery to her child.
During some Hindu baby showers, the pregnant woman's family cooks sweets, places them in a bag and sets them in her sari. You can cook the sweets at home and present them to the expectant mother when you arrive. Just make sure they are relatively scentless, and keep in mind the mother's allergies and preferences to ensure that she enjoys them after the shower!
Modern mothers will appreciate any baby clothes, but choosing traditional Indian clothes adds a personal touch. A small child's sari for a girl or a tunic for either sex will give the coming baby style -- and save the parents some money too.
Part of the early Valai Kaapu Hindu baby shower, celebrated in South India, involves the husband's sisters adorning the mother-to-be with flowers in her hair. This is called "Pooch-chootal," which means "adorning with flowers." Even if you don't attend a ceremony -- or if the woman follows tradition and has others adorn her with flowers -- you can still honour the tradition by giving the expectant mother a bouquet of flowers or a garland to wear as a necklace. The mother can dry the flowers to include in a scrapbook or give them to her child someday.
A gentle way to honour the expectant mother's culture is to give a statue of a Hindu god or goddess. This is a way to show the mother-to-be that you are praying for her, in your own way, and it indicates that you hope her child embraces the Indian Hindu culture too.
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