Once upon a time – There was GOLD

‘My daughter’s wedding was fixed in the month of August 2019. I took a loan of 5 lakh to manage the expenses. The wedding cost is 2.5 lakh. We had promised the groom’s family that we give 15 sovereigns of gold for our daughter. We had 5 sovereigns with us and thought of buying the rest of the jewellery 2 – 3 weeks before the wedding. But today the gold rate has gone beyond my roof and I cannot afford them, I don’t know what to do!’

‘Mine is a love marriage, my parents are aged, and I have saved a part of my earning for my wedding. I planned on buying 5 sovereigns of gold but now I cannot afford that luxury because I may have to spend from the money I have kept for my jewellery’

This is the reflection of the society that comprises of families that fall into the so-called middle class and below. Gold has been the most iconic factor in Indian weddings. More than an asset, it is associated with pride. For these families, planning a wedding is a huge responsibility. It is a savings of a lifetime. A gruelling struggle to provide for family and spare some money towards savings for their daughter’s wedding has costed many their entire lives.

There is a saying in Tamil ‘ Veetai katti Paar, Kalyanathai Panni Paar’ – ‘ Try building a house and Try getting married’, that has been in use for ages to emphasise on the expenses that incur.

The recent inflation in gold has turned it into a luxury that not many could afford. One cannot deny the fact that gold is still demanded as dowry. In many cases, women who cannot meet the set requirement of dowry either don’t get married or are forced into marriages without consent just because grooms had not asked for dowry.

For many who read this article, would ponder why is even gold a matter of consideration for the wedding? Gold in a wedding has been part of Indian Culture for centuries. Although we have evolved, there is still a set of women who need someone voicing out for them. Gold has become more of an emotional bond which raises one question – Is it greed or Pride?

It is high time that the government to investigate Gold rates. There are people in need of this revision as it impacts a web of emotions. Every single increase in rate would add a few more drops of tears in the eyes of a brides family. We have had many reforms made in society over the last two decades – hoping that this would be reformed as well!

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