Not Just Money

I saw this commercial on television recently and liked it a lot. Its ING’s first corporate campaign and the commercial shows one of the aspects of Brand India.

Mere desh me paisa sirf paisa nahi hai (Money is much more than just money in my country)…..Nice song and music.The video is having subtitles too. Have a look.

The few monetary Indian traditions that have been shown and which I know of are:-

# In Bengali tradition, a ceremony called “Mukhebaat” i.e. rice in mouth is held after the baby is 6 months old. A part of the ceremony comprises of  predicting the child’s future profession. A silver plate is placed in front of the child  containing 5 elements like soil for property, money for wealth, pen for learning, the Gita for religious minded and grain for agriculture. There can be other things too. Whatever the child picks, shows his future interests.

# Its a tradition to throw a coin into a river if one happens to cross it. A reason one of my professors had explained was that in earlier times coins used to be made of copper, bronze etc which did purification of water by acting as antibacterial chemicals. Hence the tradition was developed. Many people living on the shores of such rivers have the profession of diving and collecting coins.

# When the relatives from the groom side see the newly wedded bride for the first time, they give her money as her “munhdikhai”.

# While giving cash as gift at any occasion, its a tradition to give one rupee in addition to the cash. Nowadays gift envelopes are available which have one rupee coin already stuck on them so that one doesn’t have to worry about finding coins.

# In Muslim tradition, money is given as “Eidi” to children of the family on the festival of Eid.

# In some tribal people, its a tradition to wear currency coins as ornaments like necklaces.

# In some cultures, the groom is adorned with a garland of money. A garland of money is a symbol of devotion or admiration too. Actors, politicians etc are gifted garlands of money by their fans.

# Its a tradition for the brother to give money to his sister when she ties him a rakhi on the occasion of RakshaBandhan.

# Another famous tradition is to extort money from the groom by the bride’s sisters by hiding his shoes in some cultures or by some games on the wedding night in other cultures. In Bengali tradition, the groom’s sisters also get money from their brother on the morning after the the bride’s first night at her new home.

These are the few traditions I know. Do you know any more? Do add to my knowledge by sharing.

The commercial rightly says that in Indian culture, money is just not money; its a relationship builder.


24 thoughts on “Not Just Money

  1. I know of a Malayali tradition. The first thing that came to my mind. On Vishu, the kids get money from the elders of the family -it is called Vishu kaineetam. I hope I got the terminology right…am not Mallu 🙂

    Reema: Thanks for the information!

  2. Hi Reema,
    Nice post and very informative. During Haldi ki resam, the bride/groom is given money as blessings for prosperity and wealth 🙂 This is for the Sikhs.

    Reema: Thanks!

  3. I have not seen the Ad, but I think with so many traditions which are shown, I think it will be a very good Ad.

    I did not know why people throw coins into the river, now I do.

    Yes, I also remember the Vishu Kaineetam. Vishu being the new year, receiving money is said to ensure a good year ahead.

    The night before Vishu, you adorn the Pooja Room, and place a thali with rice, fruits, a piece of silk cloth, jewellery and a silver/gold coin, and incense to the lighted the following morning.

    An elder in the house wakes up early in the morning and walks with their eyes closed to the pooja room and sees the fully adorned room as the first thing on the morning of the new year. Following which, everyone is woken up and taken to see the beautiful setting. This setting and seeing it in the morning is called “Vishu Kanni”

    Reema: Thanks for this information. I didnt know this custom.

  4. Reema

    Since you mention the different faces of money in this post, see the video on this post:

    Between about 1min30 and 2min20 or so. See the faces of money around the globe – not just in India. Some of them are not pretty esp when it involves being taken to a police car by a cop with your hands behind in a handcuff 😉

    Reema: Those pictures flash by so quickly.. did see Arabs and gasoline though.

  5. There are so many rituals during marrige when money is rotated over the bride/groom’s head and given to servants and poor, specially during Haldi.
    And then when a child is born, the same ritual happens again.
    Good post and video!

    Reema: yes thats shown in the video. Thanks!!

  6. Nice ad and nice compilation of usage of money. It is also a tradition to give money when people take aashirvad from elders, I have also heard abt the baby’s future thing.

    Reema: Thanks!! Oh yes that tradition is in Bengali weddings too.

  7. Have been singing “Mere desh mai.. paisa sirf paisa nahi hai” and irritating everyone around me…i even sang it to a shop keeper, when he asked about money for the sugar I was a hilarious scene.

    Reema: Yes the tune is very catching! I keep humming it too.

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