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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Housewife’s Day – Nov 3rd – Meaning of Maritorious and Uxorious

Today, 3rd of Nov. is a Special Day in some ways.  Remembering something or somebody by attaching significance to a particular day is understandable.
Sometimes, birthdays of leaders are celebrated decades after their death.  There are Teachers’ day, Childrens’ day, Mothers’ day, Valentines day and so many other days – of higher and lesser significance.  Aping a different culture leads us nowhere.  The way of living in Indian society is different – the established traditional values of Indian culture are different – here our scriptures direct us to take care of parents and be with them throughout the lifetime and take care of them when they are old.  In countries where nuclear families are the norm, visiting them atleast on a significant day is considered important.

Those who have been in my mailing list for long, would remember that I had written something on Maritorious and Uxorious.  English is not our native language and quite often we do not understand or know the meaning of many words.  But if you do not know the meaning of  Maritorious, it perhaps is not indicative of only your language skills but something more. More so, if you know or have heard of the word “Uxorious”.  If you say yes, or have heard Uxorious more than Maritorious, read on.

The word ‘Maritorious’ is much less well known and perhaps less practiced – known to the extent that there does not appear any modern example of its use outside the books on words that cite it.   Do not try google search immediately for you could even land on surprising statement that “medals and prizes are given to meritorious students” – an obvious error without any merit.  Reportedly the only example of the word on record is in Bussy D’Ambois, a tragedy by George Chapman of 1607, in which he coins the word to make a bad pun: “Dames maritorious ne’re were meritorious”.  An interesting aside is that the same man is mentioned in John Keat’s poem.
If you do not know the meaning but is curious to know what it is ....................... the word means “ BEING FOND OF ONE’S HUSBAND”  and the word UXORIOUS is the one to describe a husband who is excessively fond of a wife.   Whish word is better known  speaks volumes of the relative fondness.  If to the modern generation, both the words are unknown, then it is reflective of modern world – the value of relationship.

3rd Nov is termed as “Housewife’s Day”  - Housewife is a term used to describe a married female who is not employed outside.  Some dictionaries describe it as a married woman in charge of her household.    It is stated that all around the United States there are still women who stay at home, do chores and raise children.  They are rarely appreciated and Nov 3rd is the time to celebrate them.  It goes on describing some ways of celebrating the day such as taking the woman out to eat, no meals needs cooked and no dished to be washed !!! – a day to relax and enjoy..  it is meant to be a day of honour for some who takes the pressures at home all the time.

The term homemaker is preferred by some.  See the TV shows..  some say homemaker defines the role in terms of activities rather than relation to the gender. 

Incidentally, there is something known as National Women’s Register – an organisation of women’s groups in UK, Australia, South Africa and Nederlands.   This was founded in 1960  and was initially named Housebound Housewives Register, which in 1987 became National Women’s Register.   In 1995 Maureen Nicol was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to women by founding the organisation.

Regards : S Sampathkumar.

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