Saturday, January 21, 2012

The good old piggy bank

Our ancestors believed and lived by the dictum 'Save for a rainy day' or as Benjamin Franklin said 'A penny saved is a penny earned'. When we were children, to inculcate the habit of savings I remember my father getting two piggy banks from our Bank - one for my sister and one for me. Yes! the banks at that time used to give cute piggy banks to the customers with the intention of encouraging children to save money. However these days they are busy disbursing loans and credit cards, which has proved to be a bane and has encouraged people to spend beyond their means!

Coming back to the two piggy banks that we got, one was of course in the shape of a piggy, the other was a cat. So I wondered why it was not called catty bank? I read that one of the reasons as to why it was called Piggy Bank was that in Germany a pig was considered to be a symbol of good luck and prosperity and hence keeping money in a piggy bank meant bringing in good fortune.

Anyways both my sister and me were very thrilled to have a piggy bank each. Every day religiously we would put one coin each in it. Sometimes the need to see it fill up faster was too much for us, and  we would ask not only dad but my mom my gran and anybody whom we were close to, for a coin to put in our piggy bank. Now and then we would shake it vigorously and listen to the jingling of the coins. Oh!! what a thrilling experience it was. Then came that time which we had been eagerly waiting for- Yes! the piggy bank was finally full!! We just could not wait for it to be opened. When my dad opened the piggy bank out tumbled all those coins which we had painstakingly collected over a period of time. Dad exchanged all the coins for notes and we were two proud children when we were taken to the bank and the money in our piggy bank was deposited in our very own names. The process then began all over. Even now our piggy bank stands proudly as a souvenir in my parents home in our toy show case.

Without us realising dad had taught us kids an important lesson in life - Savings. We learnt how much time and patience is required to save money. As parents we tried this with our kids too. They diligently did it for some time, but fast pace being their mantra, they found patience was not one of their stronger virtues when it came to waiting for their piggy bank to fill up. Hence the piggy bank lay half empty and forgotten. I guess the present generation has to relearn this timeless wisdom all over again.    


Seema said...

Hi ! Shobhana belong to the same era and hence can relate to your blog totally.

On a different note, thanks for the bit about Germany, pigs and prosperity.

While growing up,I thought of pigs as filthy and greedy animals. The message that I then got from "piggy bank" was to be as greedy as a pig for money!! Ofcourse, I outgrew this after the initial fascination with both the "piggy bank" as well as money were over.

Thanks for taking me back to those days........

shobhana shenoy said...

Hi Seema,

Anonymous said...

Hi Shobhana,
ahhh the piggy bank....every penny would go into it....ofcourse my children have one each...but we r so busy we cant get them filled....they dont know the value of it.....thanks for bringing back the days.....
keep posting


shobhana shenoy said...

Hi Dr. Shreni,
Thanks for your comment. Hope the piggy bank will fill up fast and the children will very soon have the thrill of opening it.
Until then hope you will enjoy reading my blogs as and when I post it..)