China: Around The Nation

Don’t pay over 60,000 yuan for a bride, say Chinese officials

Limit of about US$8,600 should be set on “bride price” paid by grooms to partner’s families as cost of getting married soars in rural areas of China, county officials say

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 2:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 3:06pm

A county in northern China has recommended a limit on the amount of money men should pay the family of their bride to get married, according to a newspaper report.

Taiqian county in Henan province has issued guidelines saying grooms should pay no more than 60,000 yuan (HK$67,000) as a “bride price”, the Chinese tradition that a male partner offers money to his fiancée’s family to secure their marriage.

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The move comes as the cost of the bride price has risen in rural areas of China in recent years, reflecting the relative shortage of girls born in some areas where boys are traditionally favoured, the Henan Business Daily reported.

The price rise also highlights the growing gap between rich and poor in China, the newspaper said. High bride prices mean grooms and their families lose much of their savings and sometimes have to borrow money at excessive interest rates, one official was quoted as saying.

“Many families fall into poverty as they could not afford the bride price,” the official said.

The guidelines, in effect since January 1, also urge that weddings be simple, with banquets limited to 10 tables of guests, and parades cut to no more than six vehicles.

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The official said some weddings in the county could cost as much as 400,000 yuan.

The guidelines are not compulsory, but those who violate the regulation are likely to face official criticism and senior local officials will not attend their weddings, the report said.