Different Cultural Engagement Rituals

In the United States (and in some other Western cultures), the man  gets down on bended knee in front of the woman and offers her a diamond ring. In Western cultures, engagement rings are always associated with marriage. Tradition dictates that the woman should wear her engagement ring as a declaration of her betrothal. Nowadays, women in the United States and Canada may even buy the engagement ring themselves, or go shopping with their fiancé for choosing the best ring together.

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In India, a gosling is the customary engagement gift. The whole ceremony is also knows as the sagai ceremony or ring ceremony. It is one of the first ceremonies that takes place between the two families and the would-be bride and groom. The engagement ceremony is basically a brief ritual during which the couple exchanges gold rings.

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Chinese women, on the other hand, must find a suitable return gift for the man after accepting his proposal. Another interesting fact about Chinese couples is that before an engagement can be confirmed, both families consult a fortune teller to make sure the couple is compatible. Names, birth dates, birth years, and birth times are analyzed to determine compatibility. Once the fortune teller gives the okay, traditionalists will confirm the engagement with ‘three matchmakers and six proofs.’ The ‘six proofs’ are an abacus, a measuring vessel, a ruler, a pair of scissors, a set of scales and a mirror.

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It’s so interesting in Turkey, as a prologue to marriage, the bridegroom’s parents (in the lack of his father, his mother and an elderly member of his family) must visit the young girl’s family to ask the hand of the bride-to-be and the blessings of her parents upon the upcoming marriage. During this meeting, the bride must prepare and serve Turkish coffee to the guests. For the groom’s coffee, the bride-to-be sometimes uses salt instead of sugar to gauge his character. If the bridegroom drinks his coffee without any sign of displeasure, the bride-to-be assumes that the groom is good-tempered and patient. Indeed, as the groom already comes as the demanding party to the girl’s house, in fact it is the boy who is passing an exam and etiquette requires him to receive with all smiles this particular present from the girl, although in some parts of the country this may be considered as a lack of desire on the part of the girl for marriage with that candidate. Also, the groom sends set of engagement presents to the bride, which is called “Nisan Takimi”.

There are also different traditions regarding the engagement ring itself. In some South American cultures and in Norway both partners in the couple wear an engagement ring while in Brazil, both the man and the woman wear gold wedding rings and do not have an engagement ring. While they are engaged, they wear the ring on their right hand and switch it over after the marriage.

These are just a few engagement rituals and traditions. As you can see, there are almost as many engagement rituals, as there are cultures around the world. Tell us what’s your engagement rituals or if you know some others please share with us, by comment or tweet us @25karats.

Source:  Wikipedia, Dubai Chronicle

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