Julie McCarthy – NPR – Monday, 21 April 2014 (originally published 14 Apr)
It’s indestructible. It’s fungible. It’s beautiful. And for Indians, gold – whether it’s 18-, 22- or 24-carat — is semi-sacred.
No marriage takes place without gold ornaments presented to the bride. Even the poorest Indian outfits girls in the family with a simple nose ring of gold.
For Indian women who were not formally educated, gifting them gold was their social security. Today, whether Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim, bedecking the bride in gold invests her with good fortune, according to anthropologist Nilika Mehrotra . . .