Dowries again

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Dear Hillary,

My Thai GF has been living with me for six months, and I have been up to her home town to meet her folks, and they seem to be OK sort of people. She has a little girl which her mother looks after. My girl is now saying that her parents expect us to get married and we must go back to her village for the ceremony, and that I am expected to pay the dowry for her as well as paying for the monks and the marriage ceremony and party. I asked her how much did they expect and she tells me around 200,000 baht will cover everything. Honestly Hillary, that is a lot of money, being a bit close to 4,000 pounds, and I don’t know that I really want to go through this at that sort of money. I understand this may be the custom out here, but I want your opinion on it.

Alby

 

Dear Alby,

This question comes up often. Dowries are still expected in some regions of Thailand, but 200,000 baht is a bit steep for a blushing bride you met in a bar, who has already had one child being looked after by her mother. Any contract of marriage should not be entered into when there are doubts, and you are certainly showing more than a few doubts (not that I blame you). You do not say how long you have been in Thailand, but I get the feeling you are a newcomer. A ‘real’ marriage, which is recognized in both Thai law and the UK, is not the one in the village, but is done at the local amphur office. You asked for my opinion, Petal, and here it is – get your running shoes on and leg it!