Different cultures


New Member
Hello All
I'm not a Singaporean, but already have a baby with one. And we planned to get the wedding ceremony next year, both in Thai and in Singapore.
Sound nice isn't it? But .......

I had no idea of how much the dowry or wedding culture in Singapore. Unfortunaately my husband didn't explain much to me. he said ' how would i know? I have never get marrige before!'
My mother - in - law already pass away
my father - in - law is almost 80 years old.

On the ROM day, i recieved an angpao from my father in law. with a $100 in. I was shock.
I thought it was cheap. How come he gave me just this amount? I didnt tell my mother ( she went there to be a witnesss too ) of how much I got from him. I was afraid the ROM ceremony would totally break down. So i kept my mouth shut. Until all the ROM finished, then I asked my husband.
He said 'he just give for blessing, the real one is one the wedding ceremony, 5 gold things and the dowry you'll surely get!'
He admitted to me later that he didnt know his father will give me this amount, if he does, he whould put more in.

So, during that time. I had nobody to ask, no internet to serch at his house. Cos we were just moving back to Singapore at the time.
To my Thai understanding - the angpao was very disgrace. I just kept thinking like 'why he looked down up on me like that?' or something.
I was so stress about it until I miscarriage when I came back to Bangkok at the beginning of Dec.
So I told my husband I wanted to return the angpao to his father when I go back to Singapore after this new year.Cos I have to wait for the tisue exam rom the hospital. And no need to get the wedding ceremony done wherever in the future.

I told my mom about how much his father gave me and she thinks the same way.

Then, some of his cousin chatted with me over the whatsapp, tried to enourage me. Said that 'some people dont even get anything on the ROM day,but you got $100! He was so kind enough. And he is just old man, dont return him angpao or i'll be angry at you forever'
I felt a bit better. Tried to cool myself down.

Then i heard from downstairs, my mother were talking to her neighbors. Telling them about the ROM angpao. They laughed, and some even said ' cheaper like giving baby to buy candy' and something real worse which i dont want to mention here.
I went so down again.
My mother didnt know I was just upstairs, she probably thought I go to the market or something. But I heard it all.

So I started to learn about the chinese weddding culture in Singapore. And I just know, they dont give much dowry like here. That's why my family and me feel so disgrace!

You got dowry from your parents in law for 8888
if x by 25 = 222000 Thai Baht, is a very common dowry for some people who work in the factory here in Thailand.Not even gold included.

Cos the cultures are different, one think for token and blessing, and one think of honour.
If we didnt talk before how would we understand. Since my husband is so ignorant about it!
He asked me 'what about farmers? How they get the dowry?'
According to my own family exp, my young cousin gave his wife 75000Thai Baht ( $3000 ) and 4 'baht pieces' of gold ( $4000 ) and my grandmother - she is a farmer, was the one who gave to my cousin to pass to his wife. This is the poor example.
Other farmer uncle - my father's side. His dowry to his wife was 1000000 Thai Baht or $40000 and some gold I cant remember how much. House, Car, and some lands.
Other farmer uncle - my mother's -side. He gave his dowry to his wife 200000 Thai Baht or $8000 and '10 baht' pieces of gold ( $10000 )

For Bangkok people and big city rates, should be around 300000 Thai Baht and 10 pieces of gold for starting.
For a welthy family can be much much more,the biggest wedding i have ever seen ( not from the news paper ) was 15000000 Thai Baht dowry or $600000 and 99 Baht of gold. 1 BMW serie 7, 1 seperated house in the middle of Bangkok. A condo, lands,and much more. The groom was a nightclub owner.

May I explain to you about Thai gold
We have own weight of gold. We called it Baht, like the unit of money. 1 Baht Gold = 15.24 grams. Now 1 Baht Gold worth 25000 Thai Baht or around $1000.

Even tho, the law said something like 'the dowry you give to the bride's side, will belong to the mother. And cannot take back'
There're some family who only accept dowry as a token just like Singapore. Or some family ask for 0Baht dowry, but just take care of their daughter your best, and do a properly wedding ceremony for them, to keep the birde's side face.

Some, mother in law will keep everything, which i do addmit we called 'money face mother'.Leave non to the new couple. Some mother in law will give even double or more of what the dowry ofered - for sample 100000 Thai Baht dowry, then the mother in law will put in 150000 Baht dowry to show the groom side in front of them,to show them I dont want your dowry, so dont look down on my daughter.
Some mother in law will keep just the gold, but the dowry will return to the new couple.
Some mother in law will just give you unreasonable dowry,suppose that you're just the office staff 9-5, earn 30000 Thai baht a month and come from a normal family. She'll ask for something incredibly unbelieveable. Like 5000000 Thai Baht or $200000 and 50 Baht gold. How long does it takes for you to keep the money ?

Not to mention all the wedding ceremony process and lots of stuff to pay.
If you can find the dowry, happy you
But if you can't? I have one sample...
There was a guy who used to study in the same college as me. But different faculty. I heard from his friend that now he's in jail for selling drugs. Why? Cos the money he had wasnt enough to get the girl. He needed the short cut.

Any interesting case? Yes i have.
Years ago_One of my friend, called me she will get the wedding ceremony next month. I said OK,i'll go. Later I called her to ask when exactly. She said - no need to come. I asked Why? Then she explained....
Her father didnt ask for exact number of dowry. Just said ' whatever you think it suitable ', On the pre-wedding day,the groom's mother offered 50000 Thai baht with 5 Baht gold. Came and said, after the ceremony she wants to take everything back. This dowry just for show the guess.
My friend's father was so angry. And so does she. Then the end.

Most of the families like to say 'whatever you think it's suitable', but sometimes it's difficult to know exactly how much is suitable. Too less, disgrace, too much people called money face, so just try to follow the standard.

But it doesnt mean that we can't talk. Yes we can.If it's too high, or too low. If both sides agree then everything should be OK.If your bride's side are understanding people over the dowry matters. Which is...hardly to find.

Back to Singapore culture

We called ' dont tell the crocodile how to swim',you're singaporean. you know better than me for sure. But like I said,yes in Singapore people have dowry. But not as crazy as heavy as loosing or gaining face thing like my country. I just know 2 days ago!But havent tell my mother yet. I dont think she'll understand.

The angpao I recieved from my father in law - to his understanding is priceless.It was 'lai see'.
One thing I have to remind myself is that I'm getting marridge with a Singaporean, and not just him alone. It concern to his family too.
After my father in law heard that I wanted to give an angpao back, my husband said he looks so sad.
Then I asked my husband 'how much you think Thai people usually get for dowry?'
He said he thought it's 50000 - 70000 Thai Baht or $2000 - $3000 for Thai dowry. He thought when I was talking about the dowry standard I was kidding him or wanted to get a lot of dowry. And he can't understand why I feel disgrace over a $100 angpao. But he said he now understood.
I only hope he is really understood.

That's why we never really have any real open talk about it. Even it such a sensitive subject, but need to be clear.

After the 2Jan i'll go back to Singapore. I think I'll say sorry to his father. And explain it was because diffrent culture. Cos in Thai, all about wedding stuff - can't make the girl loose face. That's why I think it was disgrace. I didnt know it was token.
But if I get wedding ceremony there. Even $888 angpao or $88 I have to accept with a greatful heart. It 's what I have to follow. Even I dont think my mother will come,really. If she knows...

I even said to my husband the day we fight 'you paid $29 for the ROM fees and your father gave me $100 angpao. Why looked down on me so much? How much for the divorce lawyer? When I go back, we will get the divorce. I'm so stress until now I miscarriage you see? I waited for 2 months and nobody say a word!'

I pressed on my husband too much, did i?
One thing is that he's so slow to explain.
He doesnt think it sensitive, he thought I would understand and accept. And after all many years he stayed in Thailand even before he met me, he has never been to any wedding, so he doesnt know how much people give and think for dowry.

Anybody have any idea of how I should say sorry to his father? Or what I should do when I go back to Singapore. How to talk with his father to make him understand?

Thanks in advance


New Member
Hi Manna,

After just a miscarriage, I think you should first take good care of yourself and drink some tonics soup.

Your hubby will try to solve these problems, so you just rest well.

It is not such a big problem. Maybe your hubby can help to pay for the dowry like he said he would, then everything will be ok.

Your father in law is already 80 yrs. He has been through a lot of things in life, so most likely he will forgive you if you are sincere.

At 80yrs, most people have mellow with age and tend to "Kan4 Kai1".


Active Member
a slice of chinese culture for u:

At fifteen I set my heart upon learning.

At thirty, I planted my feet firm upon the ground.

At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities.

At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven.

At sixty, I heard them with docile ear.

At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for I no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.

source: http://www.personal.kent.edu/~jwattles/Confucin.htm

ur fil is nearing 80 and i think he deserves to get some respect and peace. so if u wanna say sorry, do it sincerely and leave it at that.