Indians have always been gaga over gold, because of which, India has to import it to meet its demand. India is among the top countries in the world which imports the most amount of gold. India’s love for the yellow metal dates to aeons ago, to the times when India was called ‘A Golden Bird’. Giving away gold on marriages, flaunting it, donating it to temples, having festivals dedicated to buying it – these are all but Indian things. Let’s dig deeper into India’s fetish for gold.
Gold has long been embedded into the Indian roots. It’s not just an ornament, but it equals value, wealth, purity and good luck, so much so that it’s considered auspicious to buy and gift gold on big events in one’s life like birth, birthdays, marriages and anniversaries. It’s ingrained in the Indian tradition which makes it only commonplace to have a family heirloom of gold. No marriage in India takes place without a token of gold. It has also become a status symbol. The amount of gold held is usually seen as proportional to one’s place on the social ladder. Lower classes consider it an achievement to have it and higher classes love to flaunt it.
Gold has been valued since the time of kings and kingdoms across various religions. Ravana built his Lanka of gold, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, humongous amounts of gold donated in Shirdi and the Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh – gold is regarded so precious that it’s deemed fit to gift to Gods. Indian festivals that are dedicated to buying gold are as various as religions in India – Makar Sankranti, Gudi Padwa, Dhanteras, Akshaya Tritiya and Navratri to name a few.
Whether gold is a better investment or not – that’s a different question, but Indians invest more in gold than in anything else. Gold is considered a shining armour against bad times and dwindling economy. Earning money and stocking up gold instead of stocking it up in banks is a common practice in India. Golden bars or jewellery pieces become a part of family inheritance with money and property that is passed on to generations from generations.
Gold is much more than a metal in the Indian context and that’s why its radiance and demand is here to stay.