“Why I Never Married A Thai”, Thoughts From A Thai Woman
I happened to read the story on why a reader never married a Thai. My farang boyfriend showed me this the other day as I told him to read more about Thai culture if he really wants to take it serious and he came across the article.
The heading of the story caught my attention so I intended to read even though its very long but half way through till I read about marriage and the dowry issue, I had to stop and did not wish to finish the rest of the article anymore.
I think it was a bit harsh and generalized all Thai families / women especially in this section. I guess that those women he met or heard about are from the north-east and maybe that is how things are done there. I have no idea what the marriage tradition there is like as I was born and raised in Bangkok by a Thai Chinese family. I have not even one relative who lives in that region. I understand that coming from western world may not have the dowry tradition and not understand why we have it here. To be honest, I have no idea either why it exists but because I am curious and it seems to be a big issue among Thai-farang couples, I tried to think of some fair ways to both sides and this is my assumption.
Traditionally speaking, a girl when she is married has to move out of the family and live with the husband's family (this has been done a lot in the past – maybe now it changed a bit – like they both moved out of the families and live together with just them two) woman moving out of the house and leaving her family behind can also affect the income of the family. In Thai culture, we are taught to be grateful to the parents since many of us do not have to work while studying like in the west. Parents provide and pay for everything until we have graduated. So after we finally have a job and can earn a living, we (both son and daughter) give them financial support – to help paying for the bills and other expenses in the house for example.
But once she is married off, she left her family and that financial support goes to the guy's family. this might not be done widely that's why you didn't mention this but everything negative on your article which I found unacceptable and not fair to the other Thai women who do not behave like those you mentioned since this article is shown publicly online and this directly gives out false information / impression to other readers about Thai women in general.
Second, as far as I know, Thai law doesn't protect women when their marriage came to an end. For example, if they divorce, they got nothing but maybe the things they own before marriage. I never hear any divorced women came out ok to do or be able to stand on their own feet so soon after divorce so I assumed the law does not say the guy has to support the woman after the end of the marriage like other countries in the west namely USA, UK or Australia.
*FYI, some girls moved out of the house with nothing*
Thirdly, it can also indirectly ensure the woman and her family that this guy is serious with their daughter and will look after the daughter once she leaves the family. Frankly speaking, money is everyone's desire and maybe most precious thing in one's life but if the potential husband – who the woman hopes to spend the rest of her life with is willing to sacrifice some of his hard-earned money to secure and ensure both the woman and her family with reasonable amount of the dowry (and it should be given back to the couple to build their own family later on – this is according to my parents' point of view and my few other Thai friends'.) I think it can also imply how much he cares for the girl that he does not mind doing this to prove himself and his love.
But again the above is just my assumption based solely on my own experience and what actually happened to people around me that I know of.
I just would like to point out that it's not fair to generalize the whole nation basing on the minority you met in your time in the country. Another reason why you couldn't find the right Thai woman to marry to may simply be that your other half is not Thai. Like I would not judge English men even if I lived there for 20+ years just because all the English guys I may have dated were not compatible with me somehow. If you get what I mean.
Thank you for listening to my input.
The most interesting part for me in this was that you as a Bangkok-born and raised Chinese Thai don't know anyone who lives in the north-east of Thailand nor know anything about their customs. Interesting comments given all that is happening in Thailand these days.
As far as Thai women not getting anything in a divorce in Thailand, what planet are you living on? In most divorce stories I hear in Thailand the woman has come out of it fine.
Money is maybe the previous thing in one's life? Well, you did use "maybe"…