The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Noun. August 7, 2011, Word of the Day
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Definition

In India and Pakistan, it is not uncommon to honor someone with a garland strung together with money! Happens at functions and felicitations.

This image captures the classic money garland.

Not sure about the Pakistani variant of this and how it came to pass or how this became a normal way of honoring someone in India but in the wedding context, one explanation is that the money garland is gifted to the groom to evoke Lakshmi the Goddess of prosperity. Absurd? Tacky? Tasteless? Well if you think the plain vanilla money garland is ridiculous then wait till you see this.

Mayawati the Dalit Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state (its the size of brazil!) has recently received the mother of all money garlands. Looks like an anaconda had too much thanni and rolled around in State Bank of India rupee notes like a mental case from Nimhans

Only pictures can capture this level of absurdity:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article248101.ece

Usage

It could well be the most expensive political felicitation. Politicians have been weighed in coins and garlanded with notes but UP chief minister Mayawati's supporters took the cake on Monday by presenting her with a mammoth garland strung together with 1,000-rupee notes. Estimates of how much money was around the Dalit leader's neck as she stood on the dais ranged from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore.

- Times of India

Added 2011-08-06 by Dishoom Dishoom