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Betrothal gifts are now an unbearable burden for many

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-12 08:23

Betrothal gifts are now an unbearable burden for many

A BRIDE in Handan, Hebei province, has caused a stir by refusing to solicit a betrothal gift from her husband. It is traditional for a man to offer money as a betrothal gift when asking a woman to marry him. Yanzhao Metropolis Daily commented on Wednesday:

The choice of the Handan newlyweds merits praise for their attempt to break with a marital tradition upheld in many parts of the country. Thanks to the "unorthodox" bride and her understanding parents, the groom is exempt from the financial burden that plagues many marriage proposals.

Many are tempted to take the moral high road and accuse brides and their families who request a betrothal gift of being "greedy". Hardworking husbands-to-be, they argue, deserve financial support rather than the weight of such burdens. Whether a marriage goes ahead should not be decided by some costly tradition, they say.

Admittedly, betrothal gifts cost much more than in the past, since viewing betrothal gifts as a key indicator of their prospective son-in-law's financial capabilities and loyalty to their daughter, some parents request large amounts of money from the groom.

In some rural areas where bachelors constitute the majority of the local population, betrothal gifts can be "priced" even higher than in the cities due to the intensified competition for a bride. It is not uncommon that young couples break up when a marriage is within reach, because they fail to reach a consensus on how much the betrothal gift should be.

The Handan bride has made a respectful decision to refuse to take a betrothal gift from her husband. Other brides-to-be should be encouraged to emulate her pursuit of romance and love rather than money.

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