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Brides become expensive in China


08:58, June 06, 2013

A Chinese map labeled with "bride prices" (money or property given by the bridegroom to the family of his bride, also known as a dowry) has become popular on micro blogs. The map labels bride prices in provinces and provincial-level cities such as Shanghai and Chongqing.

More than 300 samples were collected to make the map and its accompanying table, which divides the country by bride price into five areas: 1 million yuan, half a million yuan, 100,000 yuan area, 10,000 yuan and zero yuan. The map was made by Sina Le Ju, which spent more than one month interviewing residents in different parts of China.

Shanghai tops the table with an average bride price of at least 1 million yuan plus an apartment, followed by Tianjin, three provinces in Northeast China, and Jiangxi. Chongqing is at the bottom of the table, because the brides' families in Chongqing rarely ask for a dowry.

Many Internet users complained they can't afford such bride prices.

Zhu from Henan province has been in a relationship for two years. He was frustrated when he was asked to pay 80,000 yuan in bride money when they got engaged in 2009. If he was not able to pay, his girlfriend would not have agreed to marry him. Zhu had to borrow from his relatives, which he paid back last year.

The reason there are so many "expensive brides" is about face-saving. In addition, many families of brides want to test whether the men cherish their daughters.

Putting a price on the bride is not the base for a happy marriage, but love and staying true to each other are, said Zhang Mingsuo, an expert in sociology from Zhengzhou University.

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