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♫ Stuff In My Head ♫

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

四点金 - Curse in disguise?

I was reading a forum thread on Singapore Brides about future mothers-in-law (MIL) buying (or not buying) 四点金 for their future daughters-in-law (DIL).. and I am shocked that so many people actually find this VERY important, so much so that when they find out their future MILs are not buying the 四点金 for them, they feel that the wedding is all "screwed up".

the most ironic part abt it is, some of them claim to be "very traditional" people, hence requesting for 四点金. Then when questioned if either the bride or groom is teochew, they say, "No, but these days 四点金 are given to non-teochews also". So much for being traditional!

Seriously, that is a bit too much, isn't it. A marriage isn't about fleecing from each other's family, it is about the UNION! it is pretty ridiculous, the reasons these brides-to-be conjure up, as to why their future MILs are not buying 四点金 for them/why they feel it is a NECESSITY:

1. they don't dote on their future DIL so don't want to waste money on 四点金
2. brides don't feel accepted as part of the family without 四点金
3. relatives will talk because no 四点金
4. bride's parents feel insulted
5. bride lose face cuz no 四点金

I am sure there are more but the above 5 kinda sums up the bulk of it.

I really find this ridiculous. Did I miss something? Since when did Singaporean girls become so materialistic? Does the existence of 四点金 matter so much? I wonder what kind of foundation is the relationship of the soon-to-be wedded couple based on? It irks me even more when I read on to see other people commenting, "I understand how you feel". Sorry but I don't understand how you feel! Or even what you are thinking, for that matter!

One of them even said, "The market rate for 四点金 is around 10k". Is there really a market rate for this? 10k is really an unreasonable amount for an average-income family and 10K means nothing to well-to-do families. I wonder what she based her "market research findings" on?

to me, the 四点金 is just a symbol of tradition, which has to alter itself slightly in order to continue to exist in today's modern world. if you can afford it, then good for you. but if you can't, how can you expect to receive 四点金? that would be utter unreasonableness.

I know of some MILs who buy a simple gold chain or bracelet to give their DIL during the tea ceremony. It may not be 四点金 but it is a symbol of it. Others, simply just give you an angpao. This is an excellent example of keeping up with the times (and keeping up with your personal financial books).

Some brides called their MIL "stingy" or felt the "budget" was too little even though their MILs offered to buy them 四点金 and gave them the freedom to pick out what they wanted, based on the budget. If this is not being greedy, I don't know what it is.

it didn't even cross their minds that maybe their MIL cannot afford it or perhaps just the good ol' saying "it's the thought that counts".

Other brides on the forum mentioned their future MILs want to give them hand-me-downs as 四点金, and the brides are not happy. One of them even said, "so sian". Do they even know the value of gold is not based on the age of the piece of jewellery? or do the words "family heirlooms" mean anything to them?

what does it matter if you have the 四点金, but your MIL treats you like shit? Does that mean that she "dotes" on you a lot? I would rather have a good MIL then her 四点金! And the 四点金 means truly nothing to me if it doesn't come with good intentions and a good heart.

If you have to haggle and fight with your MIL in order to receive this 四点金.. what is the point?

I personally have a less than fantastic relationship with my MIL but in this case, I am left with no choice but to be on the side of the MILs.

honestly, if my future daughter-in-law had a such a mentality, I would think twice about gifting her with 四点金 too. It is definitely not a question of whether I can afford it, but a question of her character and her intention to marry.


Melissa said...

thats why i think they should stick to the tradition. :)