What is the Obsession with Gold?

I have been trying to answer that question for almost half a decade and finally found some answers which make sense, at least to me. Am I the only girl here who is not obsessed with gold and wishes that her family would rather spend money on other investments? I absolutely do not understand why a girl’s family would rather save up and buy gold rather than giving her things that she really wants like good education, a DSLR camera or permission for a road trip to Goa with her gang. Here are some reasons that I thought that might make you rethink before you decide to adorn your daughter with gold whether she likes it or not.

‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friends’ is a popular saying. Well whoever framed that saying sadly did not have many friends. Do you think a girl or a lady would choose shiny metal and sparkling stones over her fierce tribe of friends who have got her back at all times? Let alone friends, I would not even trade my least favourite book for a gold necklace or any piece of jewellery! Bibliophiles would agree with me when I say that the best investment a person can make is in books because they are a powerhouse of knowledge and help escaping the monotony of this world. Yes, gold has monetary value but reading can take you to places that gold and diamonds and silver and platinum cannot.

    I read an article online which said that Indian home makers owned more gold than the Swiss Bank and that is not something to be very proud of. India imports a lot of gold from foreign countries due to its high domestic demand and this causes a negative trade balance, leaving our country in debt. I have seen my mom saving up money and buying gold with it despite knowing that I am not a big fan. When I ask her why, she says that it is an investment and secures my future. Well, your investment just adds on to the debt of the country so why not invest in shares, debentures or other financial instruments so that capital flows into the market and boosts economic development thereby creating jobs and increasing the standard of living of the people? Funny that I still remember twelfth grade Economics lessons!

One of the most common reasons why people buy gold is for their daughters’ wedding. Again, people like me do not prefer wearing gold or any jewellery, for that matter so why spend money on what I am not going to use? My parents look at the gold saved up for my wedding as a ‘security’ for my future because my jewellery is going to be my knight in shining armour if my marriage comes crashing down. (That is a hypothetical statement so believers of ‘traditional marriages’ and marriage counsellors can calm down!) There is a common belief among Indian parents that the amount of gold given to their daughters is directly proportional to the respect they receive at their in-laws’ place. Can we just take a moment to realise how nonsensical that is? Why would my education, job and my individual self matter lesser than the only metal that has not been used in any scientific experiment so far? Parents of daughters work really hard and sacrifice the simplest things in life just so that their can daughter can look like the brand ambassador of GRT Jewellers on her wedding day. Is it really worth it? I do not think so.

    I have nothing against buying gold and wearing them. This is just my opinion and we can all agree to disagree. I personally find wearing jewellery the most troublesome thing on earth because I simply do not like it and so do many other women. I feel like it restricts me from complete freedom (literally and figuratively). If you like gold and want to save up to buy it, nobody is stopping you from doing so. But never force anyone to wear gold or any jewellery just because ‘girls are not supposed to be seen with empty hands, neck or fingers’. All I am against is hoarding up of gold and treating it as the ultimate treasure that will possibly save lives. There are other things to life apart from this shiny, polished metal found in cold, grimy and dark mines.

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