This article is about Bride price in Thailand or “Sin Sod”. I will describe traditional Thai wedding shortly.
Long ago… (my parent’s time) it was not a good manner that man and woman touch each other. They learned to know and love each other in e.g. temple festival. When it was the time that a man should have a family, a well-known and respected person in the village will ask the woman’s parents for an allowance for marry.
They will agree on Sin Sod which is gifts from a husband-to-be will give to the parents of the wife-to-be for their love, time, money to raise their daughter (ค่าน้ำนม).
When they agree on Sin Sod, the groom will prepare for “Khan Maak” (with Sin Sod) and the bride will prepare for the ceremony to welcome all men’s guests e.g. food, drinks, gifts.
There are two ceremonies: engagement and wedding. The engagement can take place long before the wedding. Nowadays, many families combine both ceremonies into one day to save a lot of costs.
There are many tasks on the wedding day e.g. monk ceremony (พิธีร่วมทำบุญตักบาตร), groom parade (แห่ขันหมาก), Sin Sod counting (นับสินสอด), paying respect to elders ceremony (พิธีรับไหว้), water pouring ceremony (พิธีรดน้ำสังข์) or tying wrist with holy strings (ผูกข้อมือ) traditional in Northern region and Isan, bride and groom in the bed room(การส่งตัวเจ้าสาว), celebration with a lot of drinks and food.
So long story short… we come back to Sin Sod.
How much should Sin Sod be?
This depends on family so we cannot say. Sin Sod can contain cash, gold, gold necklet, property etc. A rich family can request millions but can also ask for nothing. Nowadays, more and more bride families do not request Sin Sod. However, some families still ask for Sin Sod.
I heard few Thai stories that bride-to-be’s parents request a lot of money from the husband-to-be and this parent sticks to the tradition. For example a guy works in the office and earns about 30000 baht a month. The Sin Sod asked is 500000 baht which he needs to work about two years or much longer if he can save about 10000 baht a month. And they could not agree on Sin Sod. It is a sad story if they have to break up as he cannot pay for Sin Sod. 😦
Now we come to Thai woman and foreign man stories. There are different stories you can find online or in forum or Facebook groups. As you know, most of foreigners are seen as wealthy person. Maybe because these persons can effort for holidays, flight tickets, accommodation etc. So they should have some money.
So if you as foreigners are in love with Thai girls…
If the girl comes from a countryside or small village that everyone knows everyone (like my family, haha), often the girl’s family is proud of you. They will talk about you with neighbors etc. I think, maybe it’s because many people are materialistic and like to show to others that they are wealthy. (you may see some Thais that they have a lot of debt but live in a big house and have expensive cars). So if they have a son-in-law as foreigner (or a rich man), they will get a higher social status or get a lot of Sin Sod. The girl will have a better future and can maybe go abroad and live with her husband.
BUT this does not apply to all families!!!
I am from a small village in Isan, from a semi poor family but a self-sustainable family (อยู่แบบพอเพียงตามราชดำริในหลวง). My father was a village head master so all villager knows my father. But our family is a bit different as we prefer to save money instead of showing our wealth. We do not have any debt 🙂 That means my father rides an old bicycle, we walk instead of riding motorbike to the market, we use things until they cannot be used anymore. I always wear a second hand cloths. So I am prepared for a German who comes from Southwest of Germany (Schwabe, they are known to be very frugal) ;D;D;D
My husband and I married in Germany and we will marry again in Thailand for my dad. One thing my dad told us is we should save money for our family. My husband likes and will follow this advice from my dad strictly. Haha.
So our wedding next year will be small, about 300 persons. Most of them are from my village. There are no Sin Sod, no Khan Mak but only the monk ceremony and the paying respect to parents and elders ceremony.