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How and why Chinese dama rose to fame?


The term "dama" (dà mā) refers to the middle-aged Chinese women (35-65 years old) who have become a driving force in the global gold market. Since the Wall Street Journal first cited the term in 2013, it has been one of the Internet buzz words in daily life, especially in China. 


On April 15, 2013, when the gold price collapsed by 20% in just a day, a huge number of Chinese dama rushed to purchase gold in the nearest gold shop, buying as much as a dozen kilos ! They were dubbed "Chinese dama" by the western media. The Chinese dama's increasing appetite for bling is giving some spark to the gold market. Their strong buying power has shocked the global gold market and stolen Wall Street's spotlight. 


However, buying gold is not the only thing damas are doing. They are also buy Bitcoins, invest in stocks and real-estate both at home and abroad; they organize square dancing (guang chang wu); they designed the Facekini  (a beach-going face mask); they go to seniors college; they travel and go shopping! Some western media say that the Chinese dama have become the "secret weapon" of China's economy. 


Having mentioned all of the above, you may wonder who are the Chinese dama actually, and why are they so smart and active in financial management?


Mostly, Chinese dama are just common people, a product of recent economic development. China's GDP increased dramatically from about 10 trillion yuan in 2000 to nearly 57 trillion yuan in 2013. The dramatic increase in family income created the concept of dama. when they faced economic pressure in housing, education and endowment. They decided to make a profit by investing, and, as it turns out, most of them did manage to make a fortune. 


Why did the brave and enthusiastic Chinese dama appear in today's economy? The following reasons may help explain why the common women have an uncommon financial ability.


The initiative of "men and women get equal pay for equal work" laid the necessary economic foundation. In their 20s, they had to work to support the family, they were equal to their husbands, also known as "Chinese daye" (a satiric title for the masculine Chinese men), in raising their children and managing the household. Through working in the society, their social network grew much wider than that of previous generations, which brought them more channels of information. 


Next , the special cultural background where they lived in played an important role– a common pursuit for girls at that time was to become an "iron lady". The women currently aged between 50-80 years old experienced the 1960ies and 70ies, receiving the social education based on the idiom "Women hold up half the sky" and the propaganda slogan "China's daughters have high-aspiring minds, they love military goods, not silks and satin", which were a part of Chairman Mao's education project "Iron Girls". 



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