India's love affair with gold

"No gold, no wedding," is a saying in India, indicating the importance of gold to Indian culture and tradition. Byron Pitts reports on India's obsession with gold.

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Hidden in the corner, behind a curtain was the other India - a full kitchen that could have been from another age with a staff who earned about two dollars a day. They prepared enough food to feed the more than 7,000 people invited to the reception. Guests came to wish the couple well, not to mention it gave everyone a chance to break out their finest gold jewelry.

Chauhan: The gold will show off the prosperity and the stand of the family in the society.

Pitts: Is that vanity? What is that?

Chauhan: It's not vanity. It's just something so culturally ingrained in us that you can't have reasoning around it.

An Indian bride is usually given jewelry by her parents, gold they started buying when she was born. It's her financial security after she joins her husband's family - gold she'll control throughout the marriage. With three fourths of Indian marriages arranged, the bride's gold can also carry a message.

Chauhan: When the bride comes into the groom's family, and she displays the gold that she has received from her family, it's like setting a subtle economic status within the family itself. So there's a slight power game happening there.

Pitts: I am new to the house, but I'm gonna be taken seriously.

Chauhan: Yes.

The tradition that a bride's parents will give her gold is a financial burden to some families. There was a time in India, when dowries were demanded if a woman hoped to find a husband.

Pitts: Though dowries were banned in 1961, there is still an expectation that a bride, her family should bring something.

Group: Yes.

Pitts: And that something is gold.

Group: Yes.

Pitts: So do the men in the family sit down and pass pieces of paper and say, "We expect this," and they kind of write another number down?

Chauhan: No. No. You know, in the--

Agarwal: No.

Chauhan: --in the past few--

Agarwal: No, that would be--

Chauhan: That would be the--

Agarwal: That would be selling--

Chauhan: That would be selling, yeah.

Agarwal: --your daughter, right?

Chauhan: But--