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LuckyGuy's avatar

In traditional Indian culture how much dowry did the parents of the bride offer the parents of the groom?

Asked by LuckyGuy (30097 points ) May 14th, 2014

I realize this is a dated custom and has likely fallen out of fashion. I have checked the Indian Dowry Law and see that this practice was banned in 1961. However, I am looking for a number that would apply to a traditional old school, arranged marriage. If the bride is “older”, let’s say late 20’s, how much did her family give to the groom’s family?
I am guessing there are many rules and percentages that affect the amount such as: parents’ income, bride’s income, groom’s income, etc. Let’s also assume the parents are well off professionals.
I am just looking for a rule of thumb.

Thanks for your help.

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14 Answers

jca's avatar

One of the members in the organization that I work for is probably in his 60’s, from India. He paid over $150,000 for his daughter’s dowry. Apparently, if it is outlawed (and I didn’t google it so I don’t know for sure what the deal is with the law) it’s still going on, perhaps informally. This is a person who probably makes about $100k, if that’s any way to determine how the amount was arrived at.

DipanshiK's avatar

Dowry system in India is very prominent and has always been.
The parents of the bride have to give a lot of money about $10,000— $20,000 which is about 8–20 Lakhs in Indian rupees. It’s an orthodox tradition and has been going for centuries. Laws have been set up by the government against dowry system but they haven’t been implemented as yet. A great deal of money is given to the bridegroom’s family along with daily use items like a car, computers and all sorts of other things. In many cases the bride’s parents are harassed if they abnegate to fulfil their demands. It’s a curse and should be annihilated.

LuckyGuy's avatar

These are great answers! Do you figure it is like a year’s salary of the bride’s parents?
@DipanshiK is 8–20 Lakh rupees about a yearly salary for a professional?

jca's avatar

I am curious as to what is the logic behind the woman’s family paying the man?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think it’s the idea that a son can take care of the family, but a wife not so much? I know that’s crap, but it might be what they’re thinking.
@LuckyGuy Why’d you put this in general? I was thinking what if she’s butt ugly? How else would they get rid of her.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I find it interesting that the woman’s family has to pay the man family. In my simple mind I would have thought the man would pay for the honor of marrying the woman. Culture is so interesting.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@LuckyGuy I would have thought so too. But a lot of cultures put a lot more value on males then females. But who’s going to bear the children?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

So this is what is behind “bride burning?”

DipanshiK's avatar

Dowry is ridiculously unfathomed in Indian culture that every family be it rich , mediocre or poor practise it. They put their heart and soul into earning the ‘petty’wage and finally they feed the little of what they have to the male family only to get their daughter married. Yes it’s interesting to hear , for people who have acknowledged this for the first time but this system is wreckening and disturbing.

RocketGuy's avatar

You would think the man’s family would be paying, since they are getting a housewife, lover, nanny, cook, and maid.

DipanshiK's avatar

@RocketGuy a nanny cook and a maid! Seriously.
Will you consider your wife a maid? That’s piteous.

RocketGuy's avatar

At my house, I do the cooking and cleaning.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@LuckyGuy I find it interesting that the woman’s family has to pay the man family. In my simple mind I would have thought the man would pay for the honor of marrying the woman. Culture is so interesting.
It may be interesting, but it is not the US way so it is all wrong. The couple should “test drive” the marriage, have a few kids, buy property, then if he still likes her, HE pays through the nose to officiate what he always had for free anyhow. That is the way to do it, they are just butthole backwards…...

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central And if they decide to split, she gets half !

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