August 5, 2020

Marriage Proposal: How Do Different Cultures Do It?

A relationship that follows the natural course will inevitably reach marriage at one point. Before then, a person is free to find the best engagement ring for their partner in Salt Lake City or other nearby areas. Afterward, they will need to plan out their proposal.

For most people, the proposals they have in mind involve a grand, memorable gesture. For others, they prefer a quiet and intimate event. No matter what way you propose, what’s important is to respect your partner’s wishes. 

In some cultures, however, marriage proposals aren’t as quick as asking your partner. Take a look at some kinds of marriage proposals for other cultures around the world.

Scandinavia

Normally, when a man proposes, he gives his partner an engagement ring. He does not have an engagement ring of his own and will only have a wedding ring in the future.

However, in Scandinavian marriage proposals, the partners both get engagement rings. When they get married, the wedding ring will be presented to the woman. The man may or may not have a wedding ring of his own.

In addition, the engagement rings are simpler than the wedding rings. Engagement rings are undecorated bands. Wedding rings are more extravagant, featuring gemstones and more intricate designs.

Japan

Japanese proposals, unlike other cultures, aren’t reliant on the man to make a move. Females can also propose to their partners. Once they accept, they will celebrate the proposal with their friends and family in an event they refer to as yuino. 

In yuino, the groom’s family will send gifts to the bride as a form of congratulations. In the past, the matchmaker acted as the messenger, but now both families meet each other and partake in a feast. While it is a more casual event now, some formalities are still done.

The gifts represent the family’s well wishes for the bride and groom. The usual contents of the gifts are money, food, and various symbolic items. For example, naganoshi – a clamshell – denotes longevity. Dried kelp, also known as konbu, symbolizes healthy children. 

China

Traditional Chinese marriages began with matchmakers proposing to a bride and groom’s family. If both families accept the engagement, the groom’s family is required to give gifts to the bride’s family. The number of items must have many nines so that the marriage will last for a long time.

Some believe that there are certain auspicious dates for the wedding. Determining the wedding date can be done in two ways. The first one is by asking a fortune teller. Dates with many number eights are preferable, as it denotes a lucky number.

The second method is done by the bride and groom together. They kill a chicken and slice it open to take a look at the liver. It is said that a lucky sign will appear, denoting the date of the wedding. They continue killing chickens until they find the lucky sign.

Fiji

Fijian marriage customs dictate that the man should approach the woman’s father to request her hand in marriage. To increase his chances of approval, he should also come forward with a gift. The most appropriate gift is a whale’s tooth, which represents wealth and status in their society.

If the man is accepted, the future groom now needs to provide food for the bride’s family. The groom’s village will also need to provide gifts for the bride and her family. It is usually composed of practical items like mats, pillows, blankets, and utensils for cooking and eating.

Traditional countries seem to have more intricate ways of marriage proposals. However, this is intended to show the extent of the man’s commitment to the woman. This will help the bride get a husband that she can rely on once they get married.