Dowry in Thailand
In forum sites that mostly talks everything about Thailand, dowry is among the most discussed topics. This is probably because lots of foreigners, Canadians included, have come to realize that getting married in Thailand is among the best thing to happen in their lives. A lot of them have fallen in love with Thais too and because of these interests in taking their vows in Thailand or in becoming a spouse to a Thai, it would be safe to assume that these individuals would naturally research more about marriage in Thailand and on those research sessions, they would probably have come across discussions about "dowry."
So what really is a dowry?
A lot of people may have mistook dowry as a sort of payment to their Thai bride's parents but it really isn't.
A dowry to be given from a groom to a Thai bride is highly symbolic in nature. It is strongly tied with the Thai culture wherein the groom is showing the family of his bride that he is in financial capacity to support his soon-to-be wife and their future family. Also, a dowry is also a symbol of "gratitude" from the groom to his bride's family for an exceptional upbringing of their daughter.
The amount to be handed over as dowry differs as this is based on the educational attainment of the bride, her social status, occupation and family background among others.
So if the bride is university-educated and is occupying a high position in a well-known company then the groom must expect a hefty dowry. Nonetheless, if the bride is previously married but has since divorced then the groom can expect a significantly lower demand.
This practice is still common in Thailand but the dowry that has elicited curiosity from many are usually eventually be returned to the groom after the wedding to help them with their financial needs.
Types of Dowry
Generally, there are two types of Dowry in Thailand, the Sin Sod and the Tong Mun.
The Tong Mun is a 24-karat gold engagement ring that would be turn-over by the groom to his bride at her house. This ceremony is called the Phitee Mun.
On the other hand, a Sin Sod is the actual dowry or the monetary aspect of it which is based on the overall status of the bride.