Dowries for non-virgins


Dear Hillary,

I am being asked for a dowry for the girl who has been living with me for three months now. I enjoy having her around, and we went up to her home town to meet her folks. Her mother looks after her child from a previous marriage. Her father has a small rice farm. My girl is now saying that her parents expect us now to get married and we must go back to her village for the marriage, 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. I haven’t got anyone else I can ask to get some sensible advice.


Dear Will,

I am so tempted to reply “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” but I won’t ;-). Dowries are worked out as a sum to reimburse the parents for the loss of a daughter. In this case 200,000 baht is nonsense, I’m afraid. She has been married before and has a dependent child which her mother looks after. Your blushing bride will be sending money to her mother each month to look after the child. Don’t get sucked in by all this, Petal. It is a con. The village “marriage” is not a legal entity either. Run, and never go near that village again. Time to show your GF the door too, I’m afraid.