Howard Resnick hr at ivs.edu
Thu May 23 13:31:51 UTC 2013

Thank you, Matthew, for raising these key questions. Gaudiya [Bengali] Vaishnava communities, expanding around the world, typically follow and teach this "rule" of addressing women as 'mother.'  Are they merely propagating a Bengali Hindu custom? Or does it include Bengali Muslims? Is the custom, to any degree, pan-Hindu? pan-South Asian? 
	Thanks to Jonathan and Somadeva for their information. 


On May 23, 2013, at 4:33 AM, Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU> wrote:

> This thread included the comment that in Bengal men address even their daughters as Ma, and so far as I know this is indeed the case.
> Two questions:
> Is this so widespread outside of Bengal?
> Among Bengalis, is the use confined to Hindus or is it current among Muslims as well?
> Both of these questions, of course, are pertinent to the issue of whether or not this should be 
> considered 'Hindu' usage?
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études,
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
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