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getting married...
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harpeau wrote:
Everybody is different. You've got to ask yourself- what do you want? What are you willing to put up with.
Myself, I'm married to a Korean woman. It's been four years.


God bless you and your wife and your family.

This guy is not married. He still has a chance. What are you doing?
He is already talking about the idea of paying the in-laws cash and he seems curious about that.
Stop being so positive.
Why the heck is she marrying a foreinger, is my first question?
Let's face reality here.
If they were rich and she was beautiful it would be unusual.
So maybe she is a wonderul girl beside all that...but why is this question coming up?
Why should this even be a question prior to marriage?
This seems like a warning sign to me.
Imagine I'm in the USA and I say to my potential husband that I feel like it's important to give my mom money each month.
Oh this is Korea, right. They don't have TVs or cars or even food sometimes...and they don't care about what financial class a person is from.
It IS very DIFFERENT here?
Come on man!
What am I a freakin orphaned Mormon missionary from a dysfunctional family waiting for the next terrorist attack so I can get a cheaper flight home?
Stop encouraging!
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ratslash



Joined: 08 May 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why do i want to marry a foriengner? for the same reason that i would marry an english lady - coz i am in love i with her.

paying the money is ok for me if that is what she wants. just the values she was talking about seemed a little steep.

encourage or discourage - it is not going to change the way i feel.

take care.
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ratslash wrote:
h and t...

very much in love and completely happy, therefore, i is not out of my mind!!!

we met in auckland. i was working as a travel agent. she was studying english. i moved into a house, there she was, house sharing in the same house as me. she left, went to oz. i was missing her so i left a note on my managers desk basically saying that i have gone to seoul and i don't expect a reference. (my manager wasn't impressed but who gives sh*t. you only live once!) flew to oz to be with her and then to seoul and now here i sit.

so no, i ain't out of my mind. completely in my mind infact!


Well if your in love there is nothing I can do to stop you, and most people probably think I'm nuts for even thinking about stopping you.
Okay
Here's the last thing I'll say about it.
1. if you're under 30 I don't approve. Smile
and
2. And I hope you can ask her this and think about her answer..."Aside from our love for one another what do you think is the most important reason why we should marry?"
and if she says she is not sure, or she does not know then maybe you can think about it too and tell her you are not too sure either and wait until she gives you an answer that makes sense.
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ratslash



Joined: 08 May 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good words of advice h+t. but let me ask you this...

what are the other reasons to get married than being in love? surely being in love is the only reason.....
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anae



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koreans have a very different take on parent-child, younger sibling-older sibling relationships than westerners. The family is initimately bound together in good fortune and in bad. Parents sacrifice everything for their children in their developing years. Many Koreans have stories of their mothers giving up their clothing or food during hard times to make sure their kids had enough. In return for this sacrifice, children feel duty bound to repay their parents - or at least make their parents' lives more comfortable in old age. A girl friend of mine married to a Korean supports her in-laws as the father retired without much of a pension.

The same duty and sacrifice can be true for siblings as well. My husband's elder sister supported him in university. He feels that he should now help his sister in any way possible. If that involved money - he would pay it. Elder often bail their younger counter parts out of debt or help them get a loan. I personally know of two cases where elder siblings went bankrupt after co-signing for legal and illegal loans for their sisters and brothers. When the debts weren't paid the siblings had their wages garnished. Both of these people were friends of my husband who then asked us for money to prevent the family from collapsing.

I have never personally experienced the monthly payment thing. Each sibling did raise 1,000,000 won for each of the parents' hwangap, but that was it. Just recently, his parents offered to give us 10,000,000 won to help with the purchase of our new home.


There are many reasons that people get married besides love. After all, marrying for "love" is a very new concept in Korea. My husband's brother had an arranged marriage only as far back as 1997. People feel a duty to marry and produce children for their line. Women need to be married by a certain age to have social status or face being an 'old maid' that is constantly whispered about. Some men will want a home and someone to look after it and their children. Other men will want to get married so that their wife can help look after his parents.

My advice is to have serious discussions about how both of you see marriage, married life, and duty to family. From my experience, Korean society sees marriage very differently. I can't tell you how many women I met who married Koreans without these discussions. "Oh we just fell in love and got married." Now that they live with their in-laws who expect them to cookand clean for the entire family and have no access to their own money - they truly regret not asking more questions.
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Homer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I married my korean wife over five years ago...didn't have to give them a dime.
Five of the people I met when I got here married Korean women and didn't have a dime to pay to her parents.
Ratlash what you are telling us about is just not the norm. The asking for money to "thank her parents" is not a korean tradition.
In fact, contrary to what H &T said its not even an asian thing. Its a greed thing and that my friend is an vice that knows no nationalities or borders.
But, H&T is right about this being strange and suspicious. You may be in love ratlash but the money question should raise red flags in your mind mate.
Its not a normal thing to be asking in Korea or anywhere else.
We have helped my wife's parents from time to time with a monetary gift but that was just our choice.
Also, when they get older we will take care of them because thats the right thing to do. This is one of the better points of this culture. they take care of their elders, a value thats sadly lacking in the West these days.
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anae



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ratlash

Here are some links I gathered talking about filial duty that may help you understand more. It is a bit different to hear a woman express wanting to give her parents money, it is usually the son's job. The second link talks about how things are changing in Korea - which may explain the differences in opinion on this subject.

http://demo.meaning.ca/pdf/2000proceedings/elaine_pang.pdf

www.cas.flinders.edu.au/iag/proceedings/proc0030.htm

www.chosunjournal.com/piety.html

My husband was indoctrinated with Confucian teachings as a student. Things like:

You should get up before your parents and go to sleep after them. (I think this was really for daughters-in-law)
If you come into money you should give it to them.
You should anticipate their needs and wants before they ask.

etc. etc. etc.

He doesn't follow these things, but is still plagued by guilt because we don't live near his parents and can't help them like his brother can.
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Canadaman



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:01 am    Post subject: What the heck? Reply with quote

I've been here in Korea for 6 years. I've learned the language and have had deep personal relationships on par with any relationship i could have every had back home. However this is the single item in Korean culture that angers me the most. I tolerant of most, and an understanding individual BUT... When you bring a child in to the world, you love it, take care of it because IT IS YOUR JOB!!!! The notion of "thank you for raising me" infuriates me. It is very likely that I will marry my current girlfriend. Any time my future in laws ask my future wife for "help", I would be glad to give it, but to insist that she is obligated? I just don't buy that.

Canadaman
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ratslash wrote:
good words of advice h+t. but let me ask you this...

what are the other reasons to get married than being in love? surely being in love is the only reason.....


So it becomes a legal matter?

You could just love one another and not go through the legal process. You can even have a ceremony but not make it legal.
Then what about being ceremoniously(sp?) married and not legally married? It's all about love anyway, so why do you need the law?

I could go along with that.
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makushi



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Married for six years and have never given money to her parents except for housewarming etc. events.

But hey they've given us stuff like a video camera and a refridgerator.

Koreans like to swap gifts and money around with their family and friends. It gives them a feeling of stickiness/closeness.

Only reason for a man to get married: If you want to have children, otherwise what's the upside? If you want children...do it, if not...there is no need and no upside to marriage for a man.

And yeah, the whole we sacrificed everything for you, now you gotta feel real guilty and take care of us crap...gets real old.
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justagirl



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Cheonan/Portland

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just another note no one has mentioned yet. Very Happy

If you marry in Korea, all the money people give you for your wedding goes straight to the Korean parents. I've had 2 American friends marry Koreans (one a guy, one a girl) and both times, poof! No money for them to start their marriage on. About 10,000,000 straight to mom and dad to "repay" them for raising them.

I'm not saying "good" or "bad," just expect that as well. I do know that my American friend who married a Korean gal also has pressure to help her family out financially. Unfortunately (or luckily??) they are already so far in debt due to 3 emergency hospital bills (one was a surgery in the U.S. with no insurance) that I don't think they are giving the in-laws any money.

You are also dating the oldest sibling, and she does bear responsibility to care for parents in the Korean society. Actually, it's usually the oldest son, but if her brother is quite a bit younger, and if she is way more responsible than him, she may be carrying more than her fair share of the burden.

I think you got some good advice--decide what you want to do, and who you want to be responsible for. How would she feel if you also gave YOUR parents 1,000,000 a month? Is she willing to work, or does she expect you to be the sole family provider?

And my question: What will keep your relationship strong and growing when you don't feel very loving anymore? I mentioned in another post a while ago the things needed for a good marriage, and I'll just throw them on here for you and your sweetie to think about. I think marriage is a great thing.

1. love
2. self-examination, desire to be a better person
3. a tender heart
4. forgiveness
5. speaking praise
6. honesty
7. refraining from cruel remarks
8. thankfulness
9. patience
10. gratefulness
11. contentment
12. trust
13. self-control
14. willingness/perseverance
15. open communication
16. unselfish

My best to you both.

justagirl
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makushi



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justagirl wrote:
If you marry in Korea, all the money people give you for your wedding goes straight to the Korean parents. I've had 2 American friends marry Koreans (one a guy, one a girl) and both times, poof! No money for them to start their marriage on. About 10,000,000 straight to mom and dad to "repay" them for raising them.



That's a crock...better check around sweetie...the money goes to pay for the wedding and reception.

Remember average attendees (close family and friend aside) usually cough up about 50,000 per person. That's barely enough to cover the crap food and soju they scarf down after the ceremony.

Then you have room rental, pictures, video etc.

There is no "10 million" that goes straight to mom and dad.

And in fact, often times the parents cough up a lot on their own.

In our case it was chump change, about US$ 5,000 to start our married life. But I was grateful as all get out...heck of a lot more than I expected and definitely more than my parents threw into the kitty.

You ever heard of the "3 keys?"

Ask your students....typically when a Korean girl wants to marry a doctor her parents have to cough up the keys for a new apartment, new car, and saftey deposit box with a sizable amount of cash....

Koreans are sometimes embarrassed about this...but its real.

Please...check your facts a little before you start making massive generalizations based upon the experiences of two people who, seemingly, didn't have a clue about where the money was going. Sheesh!
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Squid



Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Sunny Anyang

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:16 pm    Post subject: Just Married Reply with quote

Homer has the goods there, and Justagirl, as Makushi says was off beam- The Parents-in-law stumped up most of the cash for our wedding and (Sic) "Reception". What was "enveloped", despite a big turnout, shortfell by a couple of Million.

The whole neighbourhood turned out, Butcher, Baker, Candlestick maker- the lot- and all had a blast, though my thoughts on how much to give afterward into the family consist of this question-

Where did you expect to put "your" money anyway?

I really could'nt care less what me and mine do with it, I bring home the bacon, the new family divvies it up along with theirs and I keep an eye out for differing conventions in terms of each's expectations, level of savings and that sort of guf. It's purely a matter of trust.

How else can a couple afford key-money for a Seoul apartment, only one problem we faced. Learn to flex dude. Smile
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justagirl



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Cheonan/Portland

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now I will also mention that both of these families/marriages were Christian marriages and were held in a church, not a wedding hall, nor was there any alcohol consumed. Therefore, great costs of a wedding were not an issue. Both couples were lucky enough to have video and photos done as gifts by people on their churches.

I do know how much was put out for the weddings because the 6 of us (3 married couples) all got married this last year. We've talked about everything, from costs of weddings, to gifts, to honeymoons, to planning, etc. so this is not "hearsay."

Both of these couples did not see the money given at the wedding/reception. It did go to their Korean in-laws. This is pretty normal for Korean weddings, and that was my point.

It is something that the original poster should be aware of, if he did not know already. In the West, it is normal for the couples getting married to keep their gifts given for their wedding (ie: money/gifts). In Korea, is is normal for the parents of the Korean to keep the gifts given for their child's wedding (ie: money).

Both of these couples said that the money was a "thank you" to the Korean parents for raising them, being good parents, leading them to adulthood/marriage. I never said that the parents didn't use it to help pay for the wedding, but if you read the first paragraph, I did say that the weddings were not expensive, so the parents kept a lot of the money. That's fine--just something to note.

Also, I didn't mention before, but now will, both couples "had" to buy their Korean in-laws an appropriate, expensive "thank you" gift when they got married. (over 500,000) Of course "have to" is meant as cultural pressure.


sorry for the edit--misread something!


Last edited by justagirl on Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading this thread, it looks as though Korean marriage arrangements & the whole in-law thing are as varied here in Korea as they are in any other country.

In Australia, for instance, does the bride's parents always pay for the wedding? That was tradition a long time ago...

Everybody's experience is valid.
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