Hinduism is both a religion and a way of life. Dharma is the Sanskrit term for living in a Hindu way, which could be said to think and behave in a way that you are aligned with the flow of the Universe.
Hinduism originated in India and is considered the oldest religion of the world. It is also the third largest religion of the world. Many types of Indian culture and their correlative traditions and practices make up Hinduism. There is no original teacher or founder. This combining or synthesis of all that became Hinduism began between 500 and 300 BCE, which follows the end of the Vedic period. Buddhism declined in India during the Middle Ages, which allowed Hinduism to take off.
Even though Hinduism encompasses a variety of beliefs and philosophies, there are consistent concepts, shared sacred texts, rituals, practices, mythology and traditions.
Some of the important teachings the four Purusathas, which are about having the right goals as a human being (pertaining to one's ethics, success, passion and path of liberation), karma, Samsara (cycle of death and rebirth), and Yogas.
Good gifts for an Indian friend could be a statue or picture of a Hindu god or goddess, a mala (prayer beads), candy or other sweets, roses (except white), money (must be an odd number such as $5 or $21) or candles. Do not use black or white wrapping paper to wrap the gift for a Hindi friend. Do not offer a gift made from leather. When you offer your gift to your friend, do so while holding your gift with both hands. Your friend will most likely want to open the gift when you are not there, so understand that he or she will most likely set it aside until you leave. A business gift may be misconstrued as a means to obtain more business.