I would not say wiser, but the concept of gold as wealth completely separate from the currency of the day is a good cultural hedge against inflation.
We don't yet have the credit card culture here so people also believe in savings. Bank interest rates are also decent. For example, at 60 my dad gets almost 10% on his FDs as a senior citizen, however there is a hard limit on deposits at $30000 per year.
On the whole Indians are more financially conservative than westerners (wish I could say that for the govt too).
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