Figuring out real value of things is key to living

Sunil Thongam *

 Leima-Traders introduced 'Rani Phi' design on the theme of 'Doctor in 2020' :: September 2020
Leima-Traders introduced "Rani Phi" design in September 2020 :: Pix - Kh Chanu Leimatombi

We tend to believe money is everything. We need money to make life possible. Shelter, food, healthcare bills, and a good education are basic human needs. However, psychological and spiritual poverty is also a fact we must not forget. Material goods that we buy with money cannot fill the needs of the soul. I believe in the saying that money can't buy happiness simply because happiness is an emotional state.

'A lot more money doesn't make a lot more happiness,' notes Dan Gilbert, a psychology Professor at Harvard University and the author of Stumbling on Happiness. The issue lies in how much money costs us is important. I think joy in simple things of life, relationships and dignity should not be allowed to be compromised by money at any cost. Wise people say do not let money buy your morals.

However, its very difficult to judge how people try to have the strongest sense of financial and personal well-being. We know that figuring out the real value of things is important. Gold serves as a physical token of wealth based on people's perceptions because it has worth. Interestingly, Warren Buffett does not invest in gold. He has invested almost $1 billion in silver, so the reason for his aversion is not simply a dislike for precious metals.

The explanation for Buffett's dislike of gold and for his enthusiasm about silver stems from his basic value investing principles. Warren Buffett has been very vocal about his disdain for gold as an investment. He sees little to no value in it. What Buffett refers to as a lack of value results from a lack of usefulness. He once stated about gold, "It doesn't do anything but sit there and look at you."

One of Buffett's basic principles of investing is that one should only invest in things that are useful and that serve some purpose and that supply some practical need that people have. Silver has a myriad of industrial and medical uses. Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men alive, amassing his fortune through a successful investment strategy. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

He is an American. Indians adore gold more than the people of any other country. This explains why one cannot stop Indians from buying gold. Unfortunately, India does not produce any gold. The last gold mines in Kolar and Hutti in the State of Karnataka have nearly exhausted their wealth. Mining the gold still left has become too expensive. Love for gold is rooted in the Indian tradition.

But, the craze for buying it rose exponentially in the last three decades making India the largest importer of bullion in the world. I love to have tea at local tea stalls since my boyhood. Here I use the word 'stall' in place of hotel because a hotel is a building where people stay, paying for their rooms and meals. Generally, we find signboards written or painted with 'Tea Hotel', which is not correct.

I would get a cup of tea only at "shiki" or 25 paise. The cost of living was not high. During that era we used to spend less on snacks. Nowadays, people cannot make it through to the day without snacks and beverages. Consumer spending is high now. It is said that as people get richer they spend a smaller proportion of their income as they already enjoy a high standard of living and thus are able to devote more of their income to savings.

Low-income earners tend to spend more. Some say it could be something psychological: Compensating the feeling of being poor by consuming. Perhaps this idea is common sense. Lalu, ladu, chini angangba, kabok, mangan, and chana, to name but a few were very popular local snacks of Manipur in the past.

These locally made foods are healthy to snack on. We even used shiki, makhai, shikhi ahum, and lupa to buy these foods from local shops. Even peisa manga, peisa tara and peisa kun were valuable coins. Those were good old days. We need to deal with junk food cravings. Health experts say unhealthy foods could sabotage your health goals.

There were two kinds of coins issued in ancient Manipur right from the time of the onset of marketing, which are "semkhai" and "sen". The earliest known coinage was issued by during the reign of emperor Ura Konthouba in the 7th century CE (Christian Era) in ancient Manipur.

Some historians strongly opined that the oldest known coins were circulated from the 1st century CE during the reign of emperor Nongda Lairen Pakhangba in ancient Manipur. It is evident that bronze coins dating back to 568 AD to 658 AD were found inscribed with letters of archaic Meitei script.

The Meitei currency for most of the history of Manipur consisted of gold, silver, bronze and copper coinage. Bartering for goods was replaced by commodity money. One of the more advanced examples of commodity money is a precious metal such as gold. The second type of money is fiat money, which does not require backing by a physical commodity.

Instead, the value of fiat currencies is set by supply and demand and people's faith in its worth. Fiat money developed because gold was a scarce resource, and rapidly growing economies growing couldn't always mine enough to back their currency supply requirements. Today, the value of money is decided purely by its purchasing power, as dictated by inflation.

That is by simply printing new money will not create wealth for a country. As money flows out of India, the rupee-dollar exchange rate gets impacted, depreciating the rupee. According to the International Monetary Fund, the US dollar is the most popular. As of the fourth quart. of 2019, it makes up over 60% of all known central bank foreign exchange reserves.

Generally, the currency of any country in international trade is paid in US dollars. That makes it the de facto global currency, even though it doesn't hold an official title. The economy of Manipur improved during the colonial rule in Manipur (1891-1947). Technological development had become rapid: bell metal industry, blacksmith or iron industry, weapon manufacturing gun-making tannery, was highly developed.

The bell metal coin known as 'ser was in circulation. Monetization started taking place gradually in the economy of Manipur after the coming of the British. The British Government of India did not annex Manipur mainly for the reason that owing to the scanty resources of Manipur, the British authorities considered the taking over of the state administration to be a liability; not an asset.

There were developments in communication facilities; schools were established to impart formal education to the native children. There was no organized financial institution in Manipur until the Manipur Co-operative Bank Limited was opened for the first time in 1939.

As for the conditions of the markets, the records indicate that until the advent of the British rule in the state towards the close of the 19th century, most of the Manipur markets were by the roadsides without any proper sheds or shelter. Thus, it was after the subjugation of the State by the British in 1891 that the Sadar Bazar and the Maxwell Bazar were opened by Col Maxwell and J Shakespear, respectively, with a limited number of sheds.

Maharaja Churachand Singh (1891-1941) started the construction of market stalls with corrugated iron roofs at Sana Keithel. It is mentioned that some markets came up since the beginning of the 17th century during the reign of Maharaja Khagemba, who opened formally various markets in different parts of the State with Sana Keithel at the heart of Imphal valley as the biggest market in 1614.

Selling of machine made Manipuri conventional wears in the State has been strongly opposed by local weavers and retailers backed by major student organisations. The organisations stand and work for the poor population which is larger and hence their move is very powerful. Hand woven fabrics of Manipur are very popular throughout the world.

Inaphi, Phanek, Mayek Naibi, Lai Phi and Chin Phi, Khamen Chatpa, and Potloi are traditional dresses of Manipur. Beautiful and colourful weaves of Manipur have been replaced by similar products made in the outside states. This has been protested by weavers and Ima Keithel women vendors in Imphal, the metropolis of Manipur.

Manipur has the highest concentration of weavers and highest concentration on the possession of loom in India. The traditional skill of handloom weaving is not only a status symbol for the womenfolk, but it is an indispensable aspect of socio-economic life in Manipur. Copied products could have serious impact on the socio-economic life in the state.

We agree that people want cheap price. But, raw material costs are a burden to the local clothes manufacturers in Manipur. Unless the problem of factor cost, the market value of goods or service at the retail level, is solved, it appears that the fate of local weavers and retailers is unpredictable. The outside copied products could force them out of business.

* Sunil Thongam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on August 07 2022.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Linthoi Chanambam : First Judo Gold Medalist
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #4: Gallery
  • Sore Admiration :: Poem
  • Accountant Assistant @ Amber & Arthur
  • World Heart Day 2022
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Plastic menace: Time over for warning
  • Promoting cycling in Imphal
  • Mera Chaorel Houba @ Kangla #1 :: Gallery
  • Tripura Fashion Week @ Agartala :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • ST status demands in India #2
  • Socio-cultural tourism in NE India
  • Investigation against CRPF Personal
  • Backache in diabetics: Never ignore it
  • 'Poison' liquor still favourite for commoners
  • What has happened to the ban on SUP ?
  • Maibi Jagoi @ Thangjing Haraoba :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha : Plantation
  • World Pharmacists Day 2022
  • Workshop of Wildlife Crime Prevention
  • Genius is knowing when to stop !
  • Naga final pact as Nagaland polls near
  • Lifting prohibition : Talk of the day
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa @ Andro #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha : Fingerlings
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • World River Day & our environment
  • Nubank : banking industry in Brazil
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • From High Court to Supreme Court ?
  • Lokchao Bridge @ NH 102 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • What were Phizo's last words to Khodao?
  • Priyadarshini, Priyanka: Everest Taekwondo
  • I swear :: Poem
  • Incomplete lifting of prohibition
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #2
  • Wakhal Eronba- Sumang Leela #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Arbin Tonjam: best designer - Miss Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Ithing
  • Ferry to Ganges :: Poem
  • Making public health messaging entertaining
  • Student schooling order exposes fault...
  • Discipline : The common thread
  • Camping @ Shirui Lily Fest #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Youth : An idea can change the world
  • Perceived class conflict triggers friction ...
  • The tale of a forgotten diary
  • Face Redness- How to get rid of it
  • CADA - Govt on collision course
  • Inching towards a final pact ?
  • Border Pillar Inspection @Kamjong :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Strange bed fellows attempting to cohabit
  • Training for entrepreneur in Food Processing
  • Recalling Alzheimer once again !
  • New Education Policy : The CUET rigmarole
  • Liquor for better health! Indigestible
  • Now focus on ST demand
  • Byron Aihara - A True Lover of Manipur
  • International Day of Peace 2022
  • Human Capital Formation, need of the hour
  • Prevention is better than cure !!
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #1
  • Security Conference at Tamenglong
  • Concrete action must follow 'CM Da Haisi'
  • Tag of a dry State for the last 30 years
  • Pungyam Yeiba Fest @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • National Bamboo Innovation Challenge
  • International Day of Peace & environment
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha: Social Service
  • World Bamboo Day celebrated
  • Domestic capitalists unwilling to trust & invest
  • Street food vogue boon for youth
  • Sit-ins demanding inclusion in ST list
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #3
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya to attend UN General Assembly
  • Screenwriters invited to 6-month screenlab
  • An ideal civil servant
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • Taking the customer for granted
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #2 :: Gallery
  • Irabot Ningsing Tha : Jagoi Competition
  • Bringing drug users to mainstream society
  • Namo Birthday special: India matters globally
  • Criticizes village occupation in Ukhrul
  • Use of local agri wastes as substrate
  • Jiribam Keithel [15 June] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Boeing University Innovation Leadership
  • ST status demands in India #1
  • Literacy enhancement as a career choice
  • Agniveer recruitment rally at Assam
  • Ignoring the perfect solution to everything
  • Eyeing to end insurgency in next 5 years
  • Laklaroi Amuk Hanna Yeningtha #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Muslim (Pangal) Historical Society
  • 7th election: NE Student Org, Jalandhar
  • Macnivil releases new song: Price they'll pay
  • Youth advocating for sexual health & rights
  • Engineers : The backbone of any Nation
  • IBSD celebrated Hindi Diwas
  • Who is at fault for shrinking roads?
  • After 25 years of negotiations
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Joint Accordant by NSCN/GPRN & NNPGs
  • In search of Khubak Ishei
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Bishnupur
  • Beauty benefits of Amla
  • STDCM sets sight on bandh to draw Govt
  • The unplanned city of Imphal Concrete jungle
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #2
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Constitution & flag still dogs settlement
  • Churachandpur - The chaos and mess !
  • Rice Afrika is using tech to increase rice
  • Voluntary Blood Donation: An act of solidarity
  • Nagaland desperate for solution to Naga issue
  • Final solution likely very soon: Note key word
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Is there a need for another Nupi Lan ?
  • Consultation: Development at Lairouching
  • Bullying : Losing of children's dignity
  • Social Entrepreneur, social currency they earn
  • AMSU in dire need of support of CSOs
  • Mum on the points of JCILPS, STDCM
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st Anniv: The Keithel Store Pune :: Gallery
  • Beyond Teachers' Day
  • On farm production of Mycorrhizae
  • Onam and the legend behind it
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Fake voters testify official nepotism
  • From 1999 to 2022 : TSE is now 23
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #3 :: Gallery
  • Kholao Deben went with the Queen
  • Imaginary grudge severs human relations
  • A Phenomenally Him :: Poem
  • Bharat Jodo Yatra: Last ditch effort...
  • Special Lok Adalat for Imphal & Bishnupur
  • Pineapple Fest @Bunglon, CCpur :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead by living
  • Book review: Aeromycology over Kachai lemon
  • On saying Hello
  • Himalayan Day celebrated at IBSD, Imphal
  • Get rid of strawberry legs at home
  • Manipuri driver primary source of 'Loyalty tax'
  • The 'tax-extortion' argument
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #1
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • [Jobs] Biotechnology ignition grant for NE
  • 1st Anniversary of The Keithel Store Pune
  • International Literacy Day & our Environment
  • 1 Lakh Hand Sanitizer Bottles handed over
  • Pinning hope on Sangai fest to draw tourists
  • Points to study from Mizoram
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Schedule Tribe Demand, Recent cries
  • Intricacies of core issue in Naga insurgency
  • On Poiroukhongjin High School issue
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2022
  • Condemn physical assault on women vendor
  • Scoundrel official undermining essence of ILP
  • Is the ban on SUP effective ?
  • Ayekpam Shyamsunder's life & works
  • Book release: 'Osman Thambal' at Imphal
  • World Sexual Health Day celebrated in NE
  • Manipur Tech Univ: top at India Hackathon
  • Insomnia :: Poem
  • Change - Inside Out!
  • Biological control in agriculture #2
  • Nearest-to-home posting of teachers policy
  • Addressing shortage of teachers
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #6 :: Gallery
  • Ancient Manipur kingdom and Brahmanism
  • Teachers' role in multicultural North East
  • Regarding closing 34 Assam govt schools
  • mPharma is revolutioning access to medicine
  • Asking to believe as we receive
  • 10 years of TPC: Success collectively shared
  • Significance of observing Teachers' Day
  • Krishna Janma @ ISKCON :: Gallery
  • Growing support globally to end HIV medicine
  • Teachers' Day & My Rumbling Thoughts
  • Soibam Bindeshori : Indian Prime Icon Award
  • Can't public figures drink & dance
  • Climate emergency
  • Jumping ship trademark of state's politicians
  • Switching side from JD (U) to BJP
  • Sit-in for Meetei ST @ Kongba :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Humanitarian aid to Meira Paibis leaders
  • Down the memory lane :: Poem
  • A moment of introspection
  • Ganesh collection
  • Addl Director General, NCC homage at INA
  • Meira Rally against Drug Traffic #2 :: Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • Haipou Jadonnang in History #2
  • Krishna, soul of Indian classical dance
  • Biological control in agriculture #1
  • Additional Director General, NCC, NE
  • Senapati farmers commit to curb poppy
  • School Fagathansi & shortage of teachers
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Is NSCN-IM looking for a way to exit...
  • Delhi Youtuber honoured by Nagaland Govt
  • Multistoried cropping system for North East
  • Herbal remedies for sun-tan in monsoon
  • Agniveer Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Improve irrigation network
  • Pending final pact, ST demand, prohibition
  • Reception of Linthoi Chanambam :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 August : Govt of Manipur
  • Applications from sportspersons for awards
  • Faith in the Lord: The evidence of things
  • Aadhaar link with Voter ID should be optional
  • Session with Jail Officials & Inmate at Sajiwa
  • Scam related to job & educational opportunity
  • Widening list of drug dealers
  • Understanding the idea of CUET
  • Jiribam Train station [15 Jun] :: Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang martyr day at Jiribam
  • How citizens evaluate performance of MLA
  • Daslakshan Festival
  • All you needed was a little more courage
  • National Sports Day in Tamenglong
  • Bid to promote state's largest cottage industry
  • On lending support and entrepreneurship
  • Haipou Jadonang - Martyr Day :: Gallery
  • Linthoi and Manipur Olympics
  • Linthoi Ch: gold at World Cadet Judo
  • Patriots' Day @Thangal Complex :: Gallery
  • Jhulon Festival: Nupee Pala #2 :: Gallery
  • 13 August observed by CSOs :: Gallery
  • Mirabai Chanu: gold @ Commonwealth Game
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download