I came to Thailand for the second time on Nov 13 2012. I work in Phys Dept of the Naresuan University in Phitsanulok.
Thai Wedding 2
One of our colleagues was getting married on November 24 in the neighboring Phetchabun Province. His bride is a PhD student in environmental science. Our Dept organized a trip to the wedding for
all foreigners working in the Department: four Spanish students and me. Two Thai professors from our Dept came with us.
I described a Thai wedding when I was in Thailand the first time.
The wedding I described then was not the traditional Thai wedding. Such a Western type wedding is popular in the upper crust society.
Now I saw a traditional weddingWe arrived at the wedding around 9 am. The groom was waiting on the road near the bride’s house.
The bride and her mom came to invite the groom to the house.
At the house entrance, the bride washed the groom's feet.
After that they entered the house.
The two families started to count the money the groom pays for his bride.
The groom and bride did not participate in the money numbering. They were sitting in the back. There was a lot of money, maybe 1 million baht or even more, as I saw it. (30 baht =1 dollar). Probably it was his one year salary. It is my guess. I do not know the real number. Later I was told that it might be a million, ten millions or even 100 million baht, a one year salary or even ten year salary. The groom's parents usually help their son with the payment.
After the money was numbered, the groom gave gold jewelry to the bride, a lot of it.
Next, two crowns made of white string were put on their heads.
They prayed for approximately one hour together with his best man and the bride's maid.
After the prayer the groom and bride had to go to this pink room.
The feast started when the groom and bride emerged from the pink room.
The traditional Thai wedding is very similar to the Jacob and Rachel (Leah) wedding described in the Old Testament. That means the tradition survived more than three thousand years. Most probably that happened because the tradition has a lot of common sens.
Such a wedding is practiced in other countries here around as well. I asked a Chinese colleague about their wedding. She told me that it is the very same. I wondered why some Chinese families preferred boys when one child was allowed by the government. Sometimes they killed the first girl hoping that the next child will be a boy. Her response was: “ You grow a girl, educate her and give her to a man. You receive money, that's all, whereas the boy transmits the family name and tradition farther. In addition he takes care of his old parents. That is much more important that the lump sum received for the girl."
I asked another colleague, if a beautiful and well educated girl can make a fortune marrying, receiving money and divorcing many times. He laughed: “It cannot happen many times.It will be very difficult for her to be married the second time”.