When my grandmother passed away, her jewelry was passed on to her daughters-one being my Mom. Ofcourse, my Mom passed on some of that jewelry to us. I wear a gold bangle that belonged to my grandmother-I wear it because I totally loved my grandmother. There is something strangely ‘possessive’ about Indian women and their jewelry–especially golden bangles.
So let me explain where it comes from: Jewelry has not only been considered for the purpose of adoration, but also as a security in times of contingency. This is because it can be sold whenever there is dire need of money. And it is very evident in a lot of mainstream media where a family is confronted with painfully desperate moments, and the ‘mother’ will remove her bangles and sell them off and that is exactly the situation that everybody tries to avoid. Selling your mother’s jewelry is often the last resort that you don’t want to ever get to. We like to see our mothers embellished. We are duty-bound to protect the integrity, wealth, values and legacy of family jewelry because in it are embedded signs of honor and prestige. And people will sometimes put their life at stake to gain this jewelry back in order to return the honor to the family.
Just know: don’t mess with an Indian’s family jewelry.