Housewife in India and Pakistan

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In India different approaches to domestic responsibilities are found in the various ethnic groups. In a Hindu family, the head of the family is the Griha Swami (Lord of the House) and his wife is the Griha Swamini(Lady of the House). The Sanskrit words Grihast and Grihasta perhaps come closest to describing the entire gamut of activities and roles undertaken by the householder or housewife. Grih is the Sanskrit root for house or home; Grihasta and Grihast are derivatives of this root, as is Grihastya. The couple lives in the state called Grihastashram or family system and together they nurture the family and help its members (both young and old) through the travails of life. The woman who increments the family tree (bears children) and protects those children is described as the Grihalakshmi (the wealth of the house) and Grihashoba (the glory of the house). The elders of the family are known as Grihshreshta. The husband or wife may engage in countless other activities which may be social, religious, political or economic in nature for the ultimate welfare of the family and society. However, their unified status as joint householders is the nucleus from within which they operate in society. The 'status' of a woman as a housewife anchors them in society and provides meaning to their activities within the social, religious, political and economic framework of their world. However, as India undergoes modernisation, many women are in employment, particularly in the larger cities such as Mumbai or Delhi, where most women will work. In Muslim families, use of the term housewife (or its equivalent) is uncommon, even though housewives are very common and stay-at-home husbands are extremely rare. Muslim society sets different expectations for the husband and wife, but respects their individuality. Families are generally viewed as sets and not units
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