Skip to comments.Popping the question
Posted on 11/30/2011 1:43:18 PM PST by Cardhu
Marriage isn't a joking matter. Before a man proposes in China, he must carefully choose his words
In China, much of the older generation still recalls arranged marriage; there isn't a long tradition of creative marriage proposals like there is in the West. Traditions vary from region to region and family to family, but often the process involves a formal meeting between the boy (and, if possible, his family) and the girl's family. Depending on how traditional the families are, and the local expectations, dowry payments may be arranged and an official wedding date will be agreed upon, generally no later than a year or so after the engagement.
Often, the timing of this visit is carefully chosen - generally the meeting wouldn't be on the fourth of any month, as the Chinese word for "four" (sì) sounds like "death". The boy brings gifts for her entire family, and a special gift for her, which tends to be valuable jewelry of some kind. Though it is not necessarily an engagement ring, the placing of the jewelry on her body indicates that the two are officially engaged.
I decided to take my sweetheart to the near-deserted Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, the far northern city where we met, only days before it closed in March. Surrounded by towering, regal ice sculptures that lit up the night, I got down on one knee - Western-style - and opened the small black box containing a ring I was dreadfully afraid wouldn't fit. "chinese words.) I asked, "Will you be with me forever?"
That line was carefully chosen. Chinese friends suggested all kinds of lines. (Chinese words "Marry me.") sounded a little bit too informal, and (Chinese words "Will you marry me?") struck me as a little traditional, so I went with something...
(Excerpt) Read more at europe.chinadaily.com.cn ...
As chinese words in the orginal just look like random numbers when copied here I have substituted the chinese for "Chinese words" - you may see the original at the link.
With boys outnumbering girls three-to-one in the current generation of children, China’s marriage traditions have a lot more changes ahead.
You are right - and they can’t afford to have their precious girls taken away by foreigners.
Interesting!Even after the Cultural Revolution, and China’s manufacturing craze, the age old traditions of the families meeting to discuss the engagement and the dowry still are in place!