A nun is a woman who renounces worldly life and is ordinarily a member of a monastic order or community, thereby undertaking a special commitment to study, service, asceticism, prayer, or disciplined spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, fully ordained nuns are called bhikkhunis, those who beg alms, depending upon the laity for their food and support. The early lineage of bhikkhunis died out long ago in the Theravada traditions of South Asia, but was preserved in the Mahayana traditions of East Asia where nuns outnumber monks today in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In the Jain tradition, ordained nuns are called sadhvis or holy ones; they have preserved monastic life for many centuries and their orders flourish in contemporary India. In the Christian tradition, there have been nuns since the 4th century, some communities living cloistered lives entirely apart from the world and others involved in the world in vocations of service and education.