How different cultures deal with cash

“Money makes the world go around”, as the saying goes and so it makes sense that around the world many different cultures have developed unique ways of dealing with cash. While many of us may be used to standard practices of saving and borrowing, elsewhere on the planet money is also used to teach important lessons, respect religious teachings or enhance social cohesion.

To explore some of the interesting ways that money is used in different places, Budget Direct has created this infographic with some beautifully illustrated examples. Such as:

  • Zakat

This practice in Pakistan, as well as other Muslim-majority countries, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which sees people give 2.5% of their wealth to good causes. As well as aiding those in need, its purpose is to help people remember that life isn’t all about gathering as much wealth as possible.

  • Harambee

Getting access to credit for investment in sub-Saharan Africa can be extremely difficult. To counter this, in Kenya, communities gather for harambee, which means “pull together” in Swahili. They pool their resources to invest in projects which will benefit the whole community such as wells, electricity generators or start-up companies.

  • Harisma

Beautiful and expensive wedding dresses and suits can often be the most impressive part of the celebration itself, but in Greece they can take on an even more valuable role. This is because guests are encouraged to pin euro notes to the happy couple’s wedding attire while they dance, to give them a nest-egg to start their life together.

  • Kuri Kulyanam

In India, weddings, as well as other expensive purchases such as paying for university or house renovations are collected for at a communal meal. This is known as a “kuri kalyanam” and is hosted by the family who needs the money, with invited guests being expected to give a donation. This favour is returned when the host is invited to someone else’s meal, where they are obliged to gift twice as much.

As you can see, across the world money can mean so much more than just the paper it’s printed on. Check out the rest of the infographic for even more interesting international cash culture insights.

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