China's brides go for gold as their dowries get bigger and bigger

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China's brides go for gold as their dowries get bigger and bigger

    Chinese parents are lavishing more and more of their family wealth on their daughters at the weddings


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    Yesterday , after eight days of feasting and celebration, Wu Yanrong’s wedding banquet came to an end. Just before the new year, the 26-year-old, her dark hair woven in a braid, put on a traditional Chinese red wedding dress, embroidered with a dragon and phoenix to symbolise a harmonious union.
    In her bedroom, she found four boxes of gold jewellery, share certificates in her father’s kitchen and bathroom tile company worth some £10 million, and a bank book showing deposits of £2 million.

    Then there were the keys to several villas, a shop, and, outside in the drive, a new Porsche tied up in a red ribbon. Altogether, it made up a lavish dowry from her father, Wu Ruibiao, of some £100 million....

    But it was a surprise to many that the dowry, a distinctly medieval concept, continues to exist in China, with all its glittering modernity.

    But then China’s marriage rituals, first codified in the Zhou Dynasty more than a thousand years before Christ’s birth, have proven remarkably resilient, outlasting the tumult of this century and repeated attempts by the Communists to stamp out “feudal practices”.

    Dowries remain commonplace across China, but in Jinjiang, a city of two million in Fujian province where Mrs Wu’s family live, the sums bestowed have reached astronomical levels. For years, the new billionaires of Jinjiang, a former fishing village turned export hub, have competed with each other for who can mount the most opulent wedding.

    It is not uncommon to see bank statements and share certificates framed in gold on the side of marriage halls, and long lists of dowry items are regularly read out to the guests. At the beginning of banquets, the bride often toasts the friends and relatives of the groom, handing out expensive jewellery only to receive an even greater haul of gifts in return............................


    One 72-year-old resident of Jinjiang recalls that in the 1950s, in the early years of Communism, a wedding would consist simply of some musicians and a sedan chair for the bride.

    A decade later and there was a fad for black and white wedding pictures. “Everyone longed to have a simple photo and the dowry would also include a book of Mao’s speeches and a tin wash basin,” says the man, who only gives his name as Mr Wu. “By the 1970s, bicycles and sewing machines were the most popular dowries.”

    But in the 1980s, as the area began to get rich, bicycles gave way to televisions and then to motorbikes, and then to BMWs, Audis and Porsches and villas and apartments. Today, the standard practice is for a father to give a quarter to a third of his wealth to his daughter on her marriage, which typically represents her future inheritance.

    “It is about redistributing the family wealth ahead of an inheritance,” says Cai Afan, a 27-year-old engineering professor who got married two years ago but says she is from an ordinary family and had no dowry “beyond my college degree”.

    “And of course,” she adds, “the Chinese all love winning face and making a big show. They are afraid of losing face and status. Comparing wealth is a national obsession.”

    She explains the tradition of generosity in Jinjiang: “Not so long ago, Jinjiang was really poor. Many people today despise us as nouveau riche because we have made our money in the last 20 years.

    “And it was the girls in the families who helped with that. They did not get the chance to go to school like the boys and instead worked in the family businesses, managing the books, inventories and workshops. They gave the best years of their lives to those businesses, so their parents always thought they owed half their success to their daughters.

    “Without an education, when it came to their marriages, their parents felt they should be taken care of, so they sent them on their way with large dowries,” she says.

    Indeed, parents feel obliged to look after their children’s well-being for far longer than their Western counterparts. Often, only when a parent retires does the pendulum of responsibility swing back the other way. Nor is the dowry a one-way system. The family of the groom also has to pay out, especially since China’s one-child policy skewed the sex ratio and left a diminishing number of eligible females.

    “My husband’s family gave my parents 108,800 yuan (£10,900) for me, a fairly common price because the numbers, when you speak them out, sound like 'Will be Rich’,” says Zhang Rui, a 28-year-old employee of a state-owned company from Jiangsu province who got married last year.
    “In turn, my dowry was just under 1,000,000 yuan in cash and an old Honda. In my province, the groom buys the house and the bride is responsible for decorating it and buying appliances and so on. Dowries have become increasingly large because there are more and more single children and our parents want to take care of us,” she says.

    “I did not discuss my dowry with my parents, they simply decided and told me. They felt it was a reasonable amount. We decided to use the money to start a business.”

    A bountiful dowry also keeps husband and wife economically equal, says Li Jianglun, the head of a wedding planning company near Jinjiang. Almost 70 per cent of brides leave their families to live in their husband’s household, where they are subjected to daily henpecking from their mothers-in-law. “Chinese parents love their daughters and they do not ever want them to lack respect in the marriage,” he says.

    Gao Wei, the secretary general of Beijing’s Folklore Society and a traditional Chinese wedding officiator, says it is this emphasis on economic equality that will keep the old traditions going. “The concept of a match between a couple is still deeply rooted in the minds of Chinese people. So if the husband’s family provides some kind of wealth, the woman’s family provides something similar so that she avoids disrespect after marriage.
    “Equality of status is still rooted in equality of finance. This concept will not disappear for a long time. China’s modernisation has been going for more than a hundred years, but these changes in culture take a long time.”

    And though the rest of the world may marvel at the size of Mrs Wu’s dowry, her family thought they got a good deal: not only was her husband her childhood sweetheart, but he is also a local government official, a position that, as Mrs Wu’s mother noted, will allow the couple always to be secure, given the wealth and resources of the Communist Party.

    Full article at
    China's brides go for gold as their dowries get bigger and bigger - Telegraph

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    An interesting take on Chinese wedding and dowries.

    And aren't we aware, having been bombarded to realise that the Chinese all love winning face and making a big show? It is so clear, as we see here, that they are afraid of losing face and status. And it is so true, as we see here from the Chinese posters that Comparing wealth is their national obsession. These are what the Chinese article states and indeed it ring the bell that it is so true!
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  3. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    It's not common to give lavish drowries in China nowadays. This case spotlighted happens in my hometown. Jinjiang of Fujian Province is unique in such a tradition and people there are relatively wealthy.

    Chairman Ray, u shall be happy we're deviating from Communism which u've denounced relentlessly, and let Chairman Mao's teachings go down the drain. :rofl:
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Interesting that such a claimed emancipated and liberated people like the Chinese still indulges in archaic customs which, as you all have so often mentioned about India subtly being the bane of India.

    I am not delighted, as you are trying to infer about all this lavish display of wealth and I am not of the capitalist or the socialist mould either. I am pragmatic. What is the requirement to show off?

    Let your deed and work be your acclaim.

    Chairman Mao may be 30% right only, but the fact that he forced the Chinese people from being indolent and lazy into a beehive of activity speaks well of him.

    Criticise him, if you will, but he is the real person who has made what is modern China.

    Money is not everything!

    Social and family harmony is.

    Money is divorcing China from its root and I think you wrote that the US is the Chinese role model.

    Please follow it to your ruin.

    The West is turning to Oriental mode for mental peace.

    Maybe the Beatles will give you the message:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    “Outside noisy, inside empty”


    This is an old Chinese proverb.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  6. Yijiuliuer

    Yijiuliuer Tihar Jail Banned

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    Yes, Definitely a big con for those material driven greedy Chinese, they should learn from India, the bride provides a big drowries and marriage is arranged, this is way the world should be.
     
  7. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ray please caution and insist your slogan ---" I have not problem with Chinese but I dislike CCP"
     
  8. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Chini women Expert Anada claimed Chinese girl desperately donate themself to him.
    he should be very rich now.
     
  9. RedDragon

    RedDragon Regular Member

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    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     

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