Post # 47
@VAwife: I agree
20k is a lot of money especially since you never discussed this beforehand. You should talk to your Fiance first and explain your culture and traditions and then he’ll talk to his parents. We’re doing the dowry too but for us it’s more of a symbolic gesture.
Post # 48
My Father-In-Law shoved a very thick stack of money at my dad at their first meeting when our parents met at after the engagement and my dad angrily shoved it back. They wouldn’t back down until my dad turned purple and hissed that his daughter (aka, me) wasn’t for sale!
Post # 49
“She said she’s not selling her daughter for money so she just want a symbolic gesture. She said 99.00 bucks I said that’s retarded but whatever. If she doesn’t find it insulting, I kinda do but I will keep my mouth shut.”
It sounds like you’re the one who has a problem with your parents not receiving a large sum of money, not your mother. She seems perfectly happy to accept a symbolic gift while you seem to feel insulted by the idea.
If you can’t accept letting go of traditional customs and feel insulted when others don’t comply with them, then perhaps you would be better off marrying a man from your own culture who will be happy to comply. You can’t expect your in-laws from a different cultural background to comply with your cultural traditions, especially when it involves handing over a large sum of money. Sorry but no American family is ever going to hand over $20k.
I suggest you get your OH to talk to his parents about offering a symbolic amount, explaining the cultural significance of the gift. You may have to stump up the money yourselves. I don’t recommend even mentioning the figure of $20k – it’s simply not going to happen and they are likely to be extremely insulted by what they will perceive as greed on behalf of your family.
Post # 50
@yellowshoe: I agree to an extent. I also think it depends on how open-minded your parents are. My mother said she wasn’t selling me off either, but it’s still a tradition and she wanted to stick to it so she compromised.
I’m glad she compromised, otherwise I’d be fighting her like cats and dogs.
Post # 51
@strawbs: GOOD POINT!! My parents are extremely traditional, but they are open minded…willing to understand that they raised an American Chinese daughter.
Post # 52
@Gorjuss: I was thinking the same thing! That if the mom was ok with $100, why does she keep talking about $20K?
Post # 53
I’m chinese and my fiance’s vietnamese, we didn’t even know a dowry was needed
Post # 54
“I don’t think that I should give up my culture cuz I’m marrying a white dude. That’s kinda close minded isn’t it? I do agree we aren’t expecting jack from either side. This is what you get for crossing cultures huh? In Asian culture, the grooms side pays for the wedding and gifts. In Western American culture it’s the opposite, so who gets hosed? The bride and groom.”
I’m sorry, something struck me with that. Yes, I believe that you shouldn’t be giving up your own identity. But niether should your Fiance. You are getting married now, and part of that is putting your husband and marriage first – and I agree that in a cross cultural situation that task is more challenging. If you’re family was the one giving the money and deciding to act in line with your culture, that’s totally cool. But you’re asking your Fiance and IL to give up a strong belief in thier culture in favor of yours. Like one of the PP said, in a cross cultural couple you really need to pick and choose what tradditions are right for you as a couple, and what is right for you as an individual. I’ll admit that I’ve never been in your situation, but I know what it’s like to try to maintain your identity when you’re not living in your own culture.
Post # 55
@bzybee15: continue to pretend you don’t know about dowry’s after this thread. 😉
Post # 56
I also wouldn’t advise using terms if you don’t know what they mean. Now, granted I admit I have referred to myself as a shiksha, but only in conversation to a very good Jewish friend or my Darling Husband, and **only** in reference to myself.
Post # 57
@Gorjuss: I was thinking the same thing.
OP, why does it matter how much is given? Even if it’s a small amount, the tradition is still being followed and that’s what you wanted right? That’s what’s important. I get that you don’t want to disregard your culture (and you shouldn’t have to), but there’s a difference between asking someone to participate in a special prayer or ceremony or wear a certain outfit and asking someone to buy you stuff or hand over money. When money becomes involved you are going to have to make some compromises and be understanding of other people’s cultural backgrounds.
I think what you need to do is sit down with your Fiance and go over which customs you want to include, which ones you will exclude, and which ones you will compromise on.
Post # 58
There are other ways to tie in your culture to your wedding. I think this is something that will have to be compromised.
I also think that assuming that because you think your Future In-Laws are well off, doesn’t mean they have $20,000 laying around to give to you (or any large sum of money, for that matter). This isn’t something they’ve been saving for (since culturally, that’s not something that’s done), and that’s A LOT of cash!
Talk to your fiancee, talk to you mom, go for something symbolic.
Post # 59
Wow! What happened to compromise in relationships? I would think it’s even more important in an intercultural one…
I’m Hindu and my Fiance I white. I guess I’m pretty lucky in that my fmil has actually shown quite a bit of interest in my culture and has asked me about relevant hindu traditions one of which is a dowry.
OP, honestly though, to me it sounds like you just want to save face with your relatives which I totally understand! My suggestion is you come up with that cash yourself and give it to your Fiance to give to your parents – so technically no one is out of pocket. I have every intention of buying my own gold jewelery… If you’re going to insist that your IL’s hand over that amount of money then you are going to come across as a serious gold digger…
Post # 60
@yellowshoe: + 1!!!!!!!!
@bobsgirl2007: I’m sorry but I don’t understand why you are insulted by $99 if it is all symbolic anyway. Either you really believe that there should be a Bride Price and that your Father-In-Law should cough up thousands of dollars or you don’t care and it could be a chicken for all it matters since it is just a symbolic thing.
As I mentioned, my DH’s culture has a custom that’s similar to a dower (the groom gives the bride money/gifts that she gets to keep for her use) but for all intents and purposes, we settled on literally a few hundred dollars. Honestly, I would have been fine with a flock of chickens or my engagement ring (which is what I told him to give) because I know Darling Husband thinks I’m worth more than that and we don’t need to do all of this to show what I mean to him. In fact, his wedding surprise gift to me was in the five figure range (not that we told anyone).
I think at this point, it should just be something symbolic that you and your future husband pay for (versus asking your FIL), especially since your mother is fine with spending it on the wedding anyway.
Post # 61
@bobsgirl2007: This makes WAY more sense than the way you originally posted which was along the ines of asking for 5 figures…
I’m definitely not an Asian who has been in this situation. But I just wanted to say that for me the best way to not make me be like what the WHAT? Is to educate me and bring information and customs to the table. Try to inform them so they can understand what you are asking, why, and the reasoning behind the custom and basically, what you said to us here, that you want to do some sort of compromising. Maybe they will be willing to do some sort of small monetary gift, or something symbolic. Maybe they will laugh in your face, who knows. But I would go armed with information and love and just see what happens!