Friday, April 9, 2010

Valentines and Gold

The post on Sri Lanka took so many days that we have to jump back to February to begin to catch up. Valentines Day was yellow roses for us. They stayed in the bedroom where there is A/C and they were enjoyed for a long time. With all this sunshine color around it is a good time to talk about gold. We haven't mentioned it since we came to India.

Gold is a good thing for a woman in India. She gets it when she is born and when she is married. If her friends are wealthy she might also be gifted on her birthdays. Sometimes it is all that she has to keep her from starving. Many woman are widowed at a young age. The government pays a one time allotment to widows but it can be months before it is received. When we arrived in India the newspaper would report at least ten cases a week where a woman would be walking home and her gold chain would be snatched from around her neck. What a cruel crime to steal a woman's link to security.

Does anyone remember the story of Johnny Lingo and the Eight Cow Wife. He married a young woman who was disheveled in appearance. She had been called ugly all her life by her father and others. Everyone claimed that she was worth only one cow at most, but Johnny would not pay less than eight cows for her. She was taken to her new husband's home and not seen for many months. A traveler stopped at Johnny's one day and the wife came out of the house to offer food. Johnny's wife was now beautiful. She had become a woman of great worth because she was treated with love and respect.

Indian woman face the cow for a wife problem. (Only it's gold, TV's or cars and they have to bring them to the marraige.) If their gold chain is short and thin it can not be worn with pride. The long heavy chain on the bride says the man made a good deal when he bargained for her. No wonder India fights a sort of wife slavery problem. And if that were not bad enough, if you are over twenty-five you might not get married at all.

If you come to India and want to buy gold you might remember the standard gold prices. If you do you will be so surprised to see large banners on the front of four story high jewelry shops as they advertise their gold sale. How does it work? I don't know because I am too busy being a missionary. I do know that there is an auspicious day to buy gold. It is advertised for a week before the special day. Most people admit that they know this is just a sales pitch BUT
we happened to be returning home from the airport on that auspicious day last year and at jewelry store after store the counters were packed three deep.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful golden roses.

I am sure it is hard to watch these women and their marriages but satisfying knowing you are doing what you can to help.