We are more free in expressing our love these days. There are so many ways in which we can convey how much a person means to us. In terms of romantic love, marriage is one of the most enduring expressions of love and romance. Many of us dream of the perfect wedding, complete with our very own choice of a ring. Whether it is a simple yellow gold wedding band with a massive rock in the middle, or something more ornate as one that is micro pave.
Still, before we can experience our ideal wedding, we go through engagements first. Like weddings and marriages, engagements are often affected by culture and tradition. People from other countries may expect different things from their engagement than we do in ours. Here’s a quick glimpse of what engagements are like in other parts of the world.
Many traditional engagement customs have been left in the past. However, one that remains alive to this day in China is the act of giving gifts to the bride-to-be’s family. The gifts are often food, desserts, or trinkets.
Aside from gift-giving, some parts in China follow the tradition of haruspex or checking animal liver for good fortune. The engaged couple has to dissect a chicken for its liver. If the liver they find is healthy, they can then set a date. If not, they have to continue their search until a healthy one is found.
Similar to other countries, the man is expected to ask for the father’s blessing before marrying his bride to be. However, his question must be accompanied by the presentation of a whale’s tooth.
In Thailand, the engagement ceremony is referred to as Thong Mun. This means ‘gold engagement.’ This is the process of giving gold gifts either to the bride-to-be or the bride-to-be’s family as a form of dowry.
Like many countries in the Western world, French men usually propose to their beloved on their knees. Many historians believe that this act of getting down on one knee originated from the medieval ages, where kneeling is symbolic in many ceremonies. Notably, knights honoring and showing respect to lords and ladies.
In France, though, it is typical for the man to be without a ring during the proposal. This leaves the couple the opportunity to shop for one together. It also allows the woman to give her input on the ring of choice. After, they can also visit the bride-to-be’s family to ask for her family’s blessing.
Chileans expect both the man and the woman to wear engagement rings on their right hand. These engagement rings will then act as their wedding rings later on. On the day of the wedding, the rings are transferred to the left hand, a symbolic gesture of becoming a married couple. Many liken this tradition to the transfer of tassels in graduation ceremonies.
Traditions and customs vary for each country. However, the actions and rituals we do during the engagement process share similarities wherever you line in the world. They symbolize the love we have for our significant others.