Marriage Customs of Thai People
From the past until now in the customs of Thai people, boys and girls reaching maturity can choose their life partner. Although this initiative is just only relative, it allows legitimate loves to be recognized. This custom is different from the one of other places having strongly feudal ethics.
After a learning period and choosing the right companion, the boy will come home and tell his parents to prepare for the marriage.
Following the customs, there are many steps in this ceremony.
At first, the groom’s family will come to the bride’s family to seal the commitment to marriage. If the bride’s family agrees, the groom’s family will have a matchmaker bring betel and areca to come to the girl’s family to officially ask for marriage. After receiving the betrothal gifts, the bride’s family will have the person responsible for all ceremonies in the village carry offerings to the groom’s family for the betrothal ceremony.
The offerings include two young cocks (one in white and one in red) and five bottles of wine. Parents extremely appreciate their daughter’s choice of her life partner and her opinions which is different from the thought of that “the girl must marry the young man that her parents have selected for her” of the old Kinh people.
After the betrothal ceremony, the bride’s family will choose a good day for the groom to come to stay with them. In the first come, the boy is only allowed to take along with him a knife to work. At that time, he hasn’t become an official son-in-law; therefore, he just can stay in the head compartment for male guests.
After a three-month challenge, if receiving an agreement of the wife’s parents, he can bring blankets, cushions from his house to the head compartment. From that time till on, he must take responsibility for all housework. It will last in three years. After that period, the wife’s parents will consider if he can meet all requirements, they will agree on an official wedding.
Before the wedding ceremony, the groom’s family must bring betel, wine, ear-ring, bracelet, hairpin and an artificial hair for the bride to join the ritual of making chignon. Gathering the hair into a bun on the head of the woman means that that woman has got married. In case the girl is compelled to marry someone, she will offer a resistance by wholly cut all her hair in the ceremony of making chignon.
After this important ritual, the bride’s family gives the new couple a private room or compartment in the house on stilt equipped with new blankets, cushions, and pillows. The husband continues living with the wife’s family. They work together as well as have babies. From one to eight years, even ten years, staying with the wife’s family after the wedding day, the husband can take the wife to his house with a formal escort. The wife’s family give the couple lots of daily things, such as pots, blankets, cushions, castles, and weeds.
When coming to the husband’s house, the women will prepare a beautiful overcoat for the mother-in-law, beautiful clothes for the father-in-law, Pieu towels to the relatives in the husband’s family, face flannels for the people attending the ceremony. These gifts can either represent the new daughter-in-law’s sentiment toward the husband’s family or perform her clever characters. When living with the husband’s family, if the woman is hard-working and well-behaved, she will live more comfortably compared to the men living with the wife’s family.