No house, no marriage?

Updated: 2014-05-05 07:54 ( bbs.chinadaily.com.cn)

Richard (US)

I am a Westerner with a Chinese girlfriend. We plan to get married later this year.

Her parents required a substantial payment up-front (we are talking six digits) to allow me to date her. I still haven't met them. When I do, another 10K rmb is expected as some kind of "booking fee" for the meeting. There is also pressure from them for me to buy a dwelling (of course), which apparently will be in her name only.

Interestingly, my GF - who, by the way, only reluctantly goes along with all this extortion - has explained to me that her parents themselves feel under pressure from their relatives to make sure their eldest daughter is "married right". They will lose face if the husband is poor, from the wrong background or seen to have provided an insufficient overall dowry.

She had a bitter argument with her father over the "booking fee" in particular. Apparently his justification was that "this is our tradition, and it must be respected".

The web of mutual obligation and expectation in Chinese families is so complex, and loss of face so feared, that it tends to dictate marriage expectations far more than the individual desires of brides-to-be.

Don't blame the girls. Blame their families. And beyond that, blame Chinese culture itself.

No house, no marriage?

No house, no marriage? No house, no marriage? No house, no marriage?
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The original post: http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-958720-1-1.html

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