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Q: Paying dowry to marry Chinese girl - how common is this?

I've heard some people say if you wanna marry a Chinese girl, you sometimes have to pay the family at least 200,000 RMB, and in the bigger cities, for girls who have that city's hukou (Shanghai, Beijing, etc.) anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million RMB. Do most families do this?

 

If so, that might explain why some families are unwilling to have their daughters date us. No moola for them.

7 years 6 weeks ago in  Relationships - China

 
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In a way, it seems that for foreigners, the veracity of rumors spread by them is inversely proportional to the number of beers drank previously.  And of course, Chinese do contribute to it too, but for different reasons.

 

According to Chinese tradition, a dowry is paid by the grooms family to the bride's family to compensate them for the "lost" of their daughter.  Since it is normal for the "bride" to "abandon" her family and joint her husband's family, the dowry is paid to compensate her parents for the lost of her income and services to the household left behind in future years.

 

How much is to be paid ?.  Under what conditions ?.  Well, as normal in China, everything is "negotiable", and unfortunately, many "laowais" are not fully aware of local customs to really defend themselves from unreasonable claims.  It is a pity, but never the less, very true.

 

Many factors will influence the "price" requested, and the subsequent negotiation to a mutually agreeable number.  Some of those factors are:

The age of the bride ;  the beauty of the bride ; if she is a virgin or not ; level of education (which will indicate potential for future earnings) ; income potential of groom and his family ; if the bride has been married before or not ; etc.

 

Your claim of dowries in the 200,000 to 1 MILLION Rmb to me will happen as an exception more than as a norm.  Maybe to some extent among the newly rich, but not among the normal populace.  In fact, now days more and more Chinese youths get married without paying one penny for dowry.  And for those that a dowry is requested, more reasonable sums between 5,000 to 10,000 Rmb are the norm.

 

Of course, unknown by many laowais, only dowries are expected to be paid for first marriages, once the lady is divorced or a widow, no dowries are really required.  Or if the Lady is unmarried, but has a child, her potential for a dowry is diminished.  If she is under 28 years of age, she will be at her prime, over 28 years of age, the older the less she will be "worth".

 

And last, even if you seldom hear this, just as the groom's family pays a dowry to the bride's family, the reverse is also "supposed" to happen.  The bride's family is, by tradition, supposed to send the groom some presents too, mainly some fruits, liquor, and some household goods like linnen, pots and pans, maybe even some furniture for the new home, etc.

 

What does the "huckou" book has to do with this ?.  Well, in China a Lady must be married in the city where her huckou booklet is registrered.  maybe some Ladies in cities like Shanghai, Beijing, etc, where to get a huckou booklet issued is very difficult, a marriage could be arranged to resolve this particular issue, and it will have value to a local, but not to a foreigner.  If a Chinese wants to live in Beijing, and can not get a "legal' huckou booklet" there, by marrying a local Lady his name will be added to hers, and now he will be a legal migrant worker.  But for a foreigner, that is totally worthless.

 

 

PS: And so we all speak on proper terms, " BRIDE PRICE " is what the groom's family pay the bride's family. Then "DOWRY" is really what the bride's family gives the groom, and "DOWEY" is what the groom gives directly to the bride. Compare dowry, which is paid to the groom, or used by the bride to help establish the new household, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The agreed bride price is generally intended to reflect the perceived value of the girl or young woman.

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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It's different everywhere, according to what u said, the man must be RICH.  

generally man pay for the wedding and honey moon.  

 

 my parents didn't ask that money when my sis got married.  

 

 

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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And, if you abscond from the marriage, they use the bride price to hunt ou down and ether bring you back or "head shot".
"

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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I did not pay any dowry to marry my Chinese wife and we did not even talk about this, so I only learned about dowry in China after reading it here.

My wife is from the Nanjing area.

 

Like anything else, this probably differs from place to place.

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7 years 6 weeks ago
 
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General

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but what if the groom wants to give the parents a ''brides price'' AND a dowey not in money form but a gift worth 3000rmb or more even if the brides parents dont follow or observe these chinese traditions?

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3 years 30 weeks ago
 
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A: Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were loo
A:Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were looking for a church wedding. Chinese weddings are pretty grim IMO - you go to a barren govt dept with souless officials and navigate red tape so some guy can give you a red stamp and a marriage book. You get expensive pictures taken of you both posing in places you'd never go to in everyday life that is somehow supposed to represent your wedding, then a while later it's off to a restaurant where a game show host kind of guy makes sure it's as tacky as possible while the guests eat as fast as they can so they can leave as soon as they finish eating and gave you money. Hell, I'd go to Thailand or the Philippines and get married in Paradise.   -- Stiggs