Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trousseau / Dowry, the next step after prenups

This Post is by a guest blogger Mr. Jude Pereria.
The views of the blogger do  are not the views of the owner of the blog. The owners of the blog do not approve of  the Dowry system

What’s my worth? This was the question that that came up one day as my friends and I sipped on some tea / coffee at Starbucks.

I don’t know why we were discussing this issue. It started off as a joke but turned into a serious discussion. One of my friends jokingly suggested I find him a gal who would give him a huge dowry. Among the Hindus and the Indians, the dowry is given by the bride’s family. It is normally for the bride’s upkeep. Among the Muslims, the dowry is given by the man to the bride to show that he is serious about the marriage.

I personally am against dowries. But then again prenups aren't a popular thing with the ladies either. In the past I have been offered a dowry with various proposals. I rejected taking any dowry from the prospective bride's family. To most people, the offers I turned down would have made for a comfortable lifestyle. As I turned down each offer, my friends back in India thought I was crazy. I guess I was a good catch.

The offers I received

The first offer: I see this one as the merger of two family businesses. This was my ex-girlfriend. Her father has a shipping business. She was the youngest of four daughters.

According to the family's customs, as the youngest daughter, she would inherit all of her father's assets. This would amount to the two offices in Mumbai and the family property. Her father had set up offices for the other daughters. One was in Australia, Canada, and at the time, Japan. I guess I was going to get the one in India if I married her. My family would have also benefited from various contacts granted to our companies. (Total net value: three million dollars +)

The second offer: It was brought to me by a friend. The proposal was for his friend’s sister. I had a Master’s Degree by then. and I was already involved in the family business. The girl came from a very traditional Hindu family. She was the only daughter. Her family owned commercial fishing trawlers off the cost of India. She was only let to study till the seventh grade for a fear that she may fall in love with someone and spoil the family name

Her family offered me a luxury car, a house in the suburbs, cash and gifts totaling to 2.5 million dollars

Offer three: This girl was my secretary in my dad's business. She was a Hindu and we worked together. Her family owned a chain of grocery stores and a dealership for bikes.

I was offered a bike and free groceries for life and all profits from one of the stores and dealership.

Offer four: There was only one proposal that I remember that did not come with any dowry. At the first meeting I made it clear that I did not want a dowry when her father asked me how much of a dowry I sought. Her father said we respect that and that he would not give any dowry. His daughter would nonetheless still be given her share of the family wealth of $ 250,000 in jewelry and gifts.

Although I had refused to take the dowry and my family made it clear that I did not need it, all the proposals however that came to me were with a dowry. When we said that we did not want any they just said it is a gift; if you don’t want it then you can put it in our daughter's name.

Traditionally the dowry is given for the bride’s upkeep and to help with the marriage expenses.

I guess I was a pretty good catch and was worth a lot.

1 comment:

  1. I am against dowries. I think everyone is priceless. I think I understand the concept of a dowry but it seems like the guy or the girl is marrying the other person for the money or valuables instead of for love or for companionship.