Maybe a couple hundred years ago my father would have set aside a dozen sheep and rights to our summer home. Mom would have provided me with precious embroidery tools, an ivory brush and lace nightgown. This would all come in handy when it was time to present my suitor with a handsome dowry.
A dowry was basically an investment into the marriage, giving recognition to the husband that he would indeed be taking care of the bride throughout their future. It also gave the bride the right to re-inherit her dowry if her husband were to die, leaving her alone and uncared for. While it is still common practice for the bride’s parents to pay for the wedding (although that has quickly been changing and for good reason), dowries are out of the question. In fact now a days a dowry is quite the opposite… especially in the midst of a crisis. The following is my dowry advertisement:
SWF (de-flowered), Non Smoker, Dowry includes; 0 property, 0 inheritance, $25,000 in student loans and $500 in credit card debt.
On the plus side, loves children and animals!!
Call today to schedule a showing.
Not exactly the best deal, however, the part about loving kids and fuzzy creatures is totally a selling point. I had no idea that dowry giving was still a common practice in many Asian countries, but thanks to my solid source Wikipedia.com, I am privy to dowry knowledge galore. Here is one interesting dowry fact;
“In India, where a few incidents of Bride burning and dowry death acquired notoriety, the payment of a dowry has been prohibited under The 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act in Indian civil lawand subsequently by Sections 304B and 498a of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”
Yes, bride burning… the ancient tradition of dousing your bride in kerosene and lighting her on fire due to her family’s refusal to add more to her dowry. Romantic to say the least.
My dowry sucks. In fact I really don’t have a dowry. But on the positive side, since my husband-to-be will know this up front, I should (fingers crossed) be safe from the ‘ole bride burning.