The Dowry and marriage in Thailand
In these modern times, tradition still follows the celebration of engagements in Thailand. One tradition that is still being practiced is the payment of dowry to the Thai lady’s parents.Aside from the future bride’s parents, she herself receives a gift from her future groom to mark their engagement.
The future groom pays dowry to his bride’s parents as a thanksgiving for having prepared their daughter for family life. On the other hand, the groom gifts his wife to show his willingness and ability to provide for her and their future children.
Foreign grooms often ask how much dowry is considered enough for their Thai girlfriends and their families. The answer depends on many considerations, but these considerations are mainly rooted on the lady’s upbringing and her family social status.
A Thai lady born from a prominent family, with good education and upbringing will definitely command a hefty dowry. The opposite holds true for one of humble rearing.
Not much or no dowry is given for a woman who had gone for multiple divorces or relationships, or one who has been involved in prostitution or morally-questionable occupations.
The dowry is usually given in cash or gold. Nowadays some families instead request for a parcel of land, a house, a car or even a small business.
Whole payment of dowry is not mandatory, many foreign grooms choose to honor the tradition as a sign of goodwill to their future family. Whether it be tradition or goodwill, the giving of dowries is one practice which will likely remain in the years to follow.
This article was provided by Siam Legal, an international law firm with offices in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, and Samui.
Siam Legal publishes legal guides to registering a marriage in Thailand on its website www.siam-legal.com.
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