#42 No money, no marriage? How much it costs to get married in China 没钱就不能结婚?

Podcast Transcript

大家好,欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese。








今天的MaoMi Chinese 就先到这里。我最近在网站和MaoMi Chinese的instagram上都收到了一些听众的鼓励和留言,非常谢谢你们!

Hello everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese.

Today I would like to talk about one of the most important issues of our lives – getting married. In Chinese culture, getting married is one of the most important parts of people’s lives. However, now there are many young people who don’t want to get married. Why? Because it’s too expensive to get married.

Many young men are stressed because of getting married. For thousands of years in Chinese culture, there has been a word called ‘bride price’. What is that? Before marriage, the groom and his parents need to give the bride and her family a large amount of money. How much money they need to pay for the ‘bride price’ depends on where they are. In some places, they might need a few thousand yuan, a few dozen thousand yuan, and in some places, they might need a few hundred thousand.

I personally don’t like the idea of ‘bride price’ because it seems like women are just commodities, and her family sold her to another family for a large amount of money. However, there are many people saying that ‘bride price’ is also part of traditional culture, and it is not horrible. There is another word called ‘dowry’ in Chinese culture, which is the present given by the bride’s parents to the bride and the groom. Many parents of the bride will take the ‘bride price’, given by the groom as their daughter’s ‘dowry’, and also buy the bride and groom a car or some money. Therefore, in many cases, ‘bride price’ and ‘dowry’ are the funds prepared for the bride and groom’s new family by their parents.

But now what is the problem? The problem is that many people can’t afford it. Sometimes the woman’s parents will ask for lots of money from the man’s parents, and if they don’t get the money, they won’t say yes to the marriage. If this woman has a younger or older brother, this kind of case is very common, because when her brothers get married, her parents will need to pay lots of ‘bride price’. Therefore, they have to charge lots of ‘bride price’ when their daughter gets married.

Apart from ‘bride price’ and ‘dowry’, people also need to spend a lot on other things. For example, many people would like to host a wedding party and need to invite lots of family and friends. A wedding party will cost at least a few thousand yuan, a few hundred thousand yuan, or even over 1 million yuan. Many people want to buy a house before getting married, but houses in Chinese cities are especially expensive.

Why does it cost so much money to get married? Because in many people’s traditional idea, getting married is a matter of two families, not just two people. Therefore, the groom’s family needs to pay for the ‘bride price’ and the bride’s family needs to pay for the ‘dowry’. Also, the wedding party needs to be big, and buying a house is necessary. However, there are some young Chinese people who are saying no to that. They either refuse to get married or just get married in a very simple way. I believe that when these young people become parents one day, they would let their children make their own choices.

In the future, will getting married still cost lots of money? Let’s wait and see!

That’s about it for MaoMi Chinese today. I recently received some very nice comments and messages from the website and Instagram. Thank you very much!

2 thoughts on “#42 No money, no marriage? How much it costs to get married in China 没钱就不能结婚?”

  1. I finally found this lovely podcast, so useful for someone who has an intermediate-advanced level. The topic are always interesting and so well explained. For students who cant go to china this podcast is gold for the listening skills! Thank you!!

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