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Mar 4, 2013

What You Should Know About Thai Wedding?

Taken in Pak Bara, Satun Thailand 2013 

W
met for the first time in the Philippines in 
2008. At first, we were friends and later became in one. Our shared passion and our grown love for each other confirmed that we were meant to journey life together. 



We talked to our parents and friends about our relationship. In December of 2011, I visited Thailand to personally talk to Nittie's parents and her relatives regarding our plan of getting married.  Everything went well. 



In October of 2012, Nittie visited the Philippines. I introduced her to my family and friends. With our parents’ consent, we finally decided on the schedule of our Thai wedding on March 22, 2013, and our second wedding ceremony on April 8, 2013, in Hatyai, Thailand. 



Basically, we wanted to have one wedding ceremony because of our limited resources. However, I also considered that my wife is a Thai National whose parents and community are culturally different from mine. A Thai wedding is a significant celebration of their culture, especially she is the only daughter.



Therefore, we decided that we should have our Thai wedding to honor her family, relatives, and community.  By doing so, we hoped we could bridge the Father's love and manifest respect for Thai traditions.


 Our Thai Wedding with our Traditional Thai Dress March 22, 2013


It was included in the ceremony the giving of dowry. This tradition has been practiced in Thailand for a long time already. Money and gold should be given to the bride's family depending on their status in the community. According to the tradition, dowry proofs of grooms' preparedness to raise a family and to honor the bride's family in the community. 



At first, I did not understand the practice of giving dowry. I felt that was primitive and an obsolete tradition. Second, I had not enough. However, I laid everything to our Father and trusted Him for whatever may come. But thanks, at last, all was well. 


I reflected...I tried to dig deeper into the value of this tradition in history and in the Scripture, finding and answering personal questions in my mind about giving of dowry. 


This is what I found: 


In all Hebrew marriages, the giving of dowry held importance placed. The dowry sealed the betrothal or marriage covenant of the couple. Scriptures listed below justify that giving a dowry is a traditional norm in history.



Passages about giving dowry:

Gen 24:22  When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a fifth of an ounce and two gold bracelets weighing four ounces.

Gen 24:53  The servant took out gold and silver jewelry and clothes and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive presents to her brother and mother.

Gen 29:18  Jacob loved Rachel. So he offered, "I'll work seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel."

Gen 34:12  Set the price I must pay for the bride and the gift I must give her as high as you want. I'll pay exactly what you tell me. Give me the girl as my wife."

Exo 22:17  If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must pay an amount of money equal to the bride-price for virgins.

1Sa 18:25  Saul replied, "Tell David, 'The king doesn't want any payment for the bride except 100 Philistine foreskins so that he can get revenge on his enemies.'" In this way, Saul planned to have David fall into the hands of the Philistines.



Paul said: 

1Co 9:19  Although I'm free from all people, I have made myself a slave for all people to win more of them.
1Co 9:20  I became Jewish for Jewish people. I became subject to Moses' Teachings for those who are subject to those laws. I did this to win them even though I'm not subject to Moses' Teachings.
1Co 9:21  I became a person who does not have Moses' Teachings for those who don't have those teachings. I did this to win them even though I have God's teachings. I'm really subject to Christ's teachings. 
I Cor 9: 22 I became a person weak in faith to win those who are weak in faith. I have become everything everyone to save at least some of them.
I Cor. 9:23 In all this for the sake of the gospel. 



Taken from the listed passages above, it is clear that the giving of dowry was a common tradition recorded in the Scripture. 



Jacob could not have Rachel his wife without doing anything. He loved Rachel that he could give up everything for her. As a result, he had served for seven years to be married to Rachel. 


And for David, as a father, he could allow someone to marry his daughter if He had proven himself ready and won the battle. This demand was even harder, but for someone who truly loves this is nothing.  


The Geneva Translation of the Scripture mentioned that verse 22, "I accommodated all customs and manners that by all means, I might help some." Paul did not impose himself on others, he adjusted himself to a new culture instead. 


March 22, 2013, Thai Wedding 



How about nowadays? 


The giving of a dowry is still a practice in some cultures. But because of the ongoing changes in our society and the influence of popular culture especially from the west, this tradition is gradually disappearing. 



I am not telling you that other wedding practices are wrong. This is not my point. What I think is there is no correct and wrong culture as long as it promotes respect, love, and dignity.


The point I am making here is, we should preserve our culture and traditions considering that they are handed down to us by our ancestors. They are gifts from Above defining who we are, our identity, our uniqueness, and our heritage. 


To end: 


My advice to all the youth planning to marry from the other culture, if you truly love her/him, then give what his/her culture deserved. 


And regarding the amount needed for the dowry, I personally believe, if it is the Father's will then He is going to provide all your needs. I know it is not going to be easy like what I experienced, but our Father is good and nothing is impossible with Him. 


A snapshot of our Thai wedding where I should hand an envelope
with money to each gatekeeper. 
Part of the program was the giving of my dowry to the parents of my wife.

Part of the wedding program to choose one of the items to predict the
future of our family. 

My beautiful bride Nittie with our Thai Wedding Dress 

Related Posts: 

How Wedding Looks Like in Thailand


Not Too Late, Honeymoon, Trip to Koh Lipe, Satun

What Young Fathers Must Know? 

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