Paying a Taiwanese Dowry?

I have some male Taiwanese friends who got married (to their girlfriends, not to each other). Before getting the parents’ approval, the guys had to assemble a large amount of cash and present it to the parents in a hong bao… and then the parents gave it right back to them. The idea being that if he has that much cash on hand, he’ll be able to provide for their daughter, and the newlyweds use that money to get started, or something like that. One guy found out the amount he would be required to hand over and it took him 2.5 years to save it up.

I’m just wondering if this is still a living tradition in Taiwan or on the way out? And of course I do not wish to pry too deeply, but for non-Taiwanese guys who are married to Taiwanese girls, did you have to perform this ritual? Or did you have foreign friends who did? Or for non-taiwanese women who married taiwanese men, did your parents get given a hong bao? I’m really extremely curious; but please feel free to leave out the details of amounts, as I said, the last thing I wanna do is pry.

I didn’t have to do it.

cool… i’m wondering if the foreigner have a ‘get out of dowry free’ card.

i didn’t do it…

but then not much about our wedding was orthodox.

I think maybe in my case I did, although I had a German friend who had a lot of problems because of this. I guess it just depends on the family and how understanding they are.

i think for foreigners,the dowry is lifelong duty to be the one the family will turn to if shit happens,coz ur white,therefore ur rich

OK, guess I better give up on any plans of gettin’ hitched then :smiley:

I’m not expected to do it

Normally the Chinese guy doesn’t do it himself either; his family will front him the dough.

I was never asked to do it, and AFAIK, jdspouse’s family never brought it up.

never thought his family would pony up… smart.

Guess I haven’t done my research. But all this is v. helpful

Has anyone thought as to whether its a waishenren vs benshenren thing?

I did it. It was displayed along with all the other items and then returned to us.

I didn’t have to do it, but a number of my Chinese friends did. One guy had to pay NT$500,000 to the bride’s parents, and they didn’t give it back either.

My friend pressed his naked testicles against the window of the restaurant at the top of the Mall where our reception was held, which I’m sure you’ll agree MORE than made up for any lack of dowry on my part.

Displayed, how?

I did not do it (the display thing or the big red envelope thing!). I did pay for part of the wedding and I got little from the red envelops. Mom payed for a few things that I was “suposed” to pay for, like the wedding gold and pictures. She tried to guilt me into paying for them but I pulled the “who? Me? I know nuthi’n” act. All in all I think I had 2 good parties and got a wife and also made 30,000 Nt in the deal. What a country!

Their son (my brother-in-law) had a wedding after ours. It was bigger and cost them a lot more (cookies ain’t cheep) but they got 10x what I did back. He cleared about .5 million Nt. But her father is well off and she is plain. Good deal for all I think :slight_smile:

I didn’t pay anything. I just told my in-laws that I would take good care of their daughter. My FIL is as cool as a cucumber, though. Really cool.

18 years or so later, my in-laws are still cool.

Dragonbabe says she won’t let me give a hongbao, because she’s not “property to be bought and sold”. :sunglasses:

It’s actually the wife’s aunts that are supposed to provide the gold. The groom is supposed to get a new suit from the wife’s uncles too. No joke!

But…and this is a pretty big but…

Whatever money you get from the red envelopes, you should - out of custom and courtesy - pay it back to the families that gave it to you when they have weddings, funerals, or find themselves in time of need. There are actual wedding receipt books that are kept to record how much each person or family gave you, so that when the time comes you can pay them back dollar for dollar.

So if you accept a big load of money…just know that strings are attached.

At my brother’s wedding, a few relatives sat at the reception area, opened each hongboa, counted the money and recorded the amount in a book as they were given by the guests. I thought that was a little tacky.