Gold Bangles

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Gold Baby Bangles
Gold Baby Bangles

An old tradition in my family revolves around gold bangles. When a father has the great news of having a baby girl, he welcomes her with two gold bangles. These bangles symbolize the father’s “claim” on his daughter (by this I mean a claim of being the male figure in her life who provides her with protection, financial stability, and care). When I was born, my father made sure I got my pair of bangles too. I never really thought too much about these bangles, I just wore them and, around the age of four, I outgrew them, and so my parents sold them. When I turned thirteen, my father got me gold bracelets. “Why’d you get me these?” I asked, and his answer was, “because I take care of you.” His response was quite odd, but it is only now that I realize what he meant. Back in Bangladesh, it is a common practice to get gold for you daughters or your wife and even mother to show your appreciation and your adoration towards them. When a girl is born, the father gets her these gold bangles, and when she is married, the first gift that the husband gives to the bride is a pair of gold bangles. The idea of a father handing down the responsibility of care to the next male figure in a woman’s life shows the enormous amount of meaning these gold bangles have. 

Place(s): Bangladesh
Year: 1999

– Fahria Orine

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant