Sin sod and in-law

Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby vandercappelle s. on Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:57 pm

good evening sir,
i m a thai teenager girl who was formerly educated in thailand but who is now studying in europe so i think i know both cultures and the habit differences... i think that only time will change the situation in the respect of dowry (sin sod). It may seem obsolete but it is still in force. I think you are in front of an alternative : you either rely on an elderly thai person acquainted with your GF's parents who will "bargain" and try to reduce the amount of the dowry ( which is usually possible ) or whatever painful it may be forget this girl and look for another one whose parents seem more moderate as far as money is concerned.
i wish you the best.
good luck. ( chork dee )
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Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby fred23 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:15 am

I think underlying a lot of the Westerners' resentment towards the sin sot system and Thai people seeing Farang as "cash cows" is the misconception that we, as Westerners, deserve our place in the global economy, and they, as Thais, deserve theirs. I understand that we work hard for our money, but there are many people in Thailand who work a lot harder for a whole lot less money because that's just the way that the deck is stacked in the global economy. It is a lot easier for us to get ahead, and it is very difficult for many Thais, hence the amount of people that enter degrading occupations such as prostitution and grueling factory work. While everyone has to draw the line somewhere, I think it is perfectly appropriate for Westerners to share what they can with their in-laws and even their in-laws' neighbors to the best of their ability. I'm happily married to a Thai woman and, although her family almost never asks for money, I am more than happy to give them what I can because they are sweet people, always treat me well, and work as hard as I do, despite not having as much money to show for it. If you are worried about your money being squandered on booze and gambling, I think it is appropriate to treat the money that you give people as investments, rather than handouts. For example, tell your brother in law that you'll buy him a tractor that he can use to earn future income by plowing his neighbors fields, and that he can pay you back in small installments over a long period of time. I guess my main point is that the fruits of the opportunities that Westerners are born into should be shared with people who were not so fortunate, particularly where those people are friends and family. This kind of attitude will make life more pleasant for everyone.
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Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby hyperinflation on Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:02 am

If you want an actual solution and not an excuse to get out of the relationship, I think Rooster and Vandercappelle have given you the only option that exists. You need a respected, elder Thai to go and negotiate on your behalf. 100k is more than enough for sin sod. An elder Thai can most likley negotiate a deal whereby you show a large amount to save face for the family, but most of it is returned to you after the ceremony.

Before doing this, you need to explain to your girlfriend why you are doing this. I have noticed in the decade of being married to my Thai wife, that Thai's simply assume you will want to be generous to the family to show you are a good person. There may be a valid cultural tradition here, but it has grown to the point of abuse. You need to clearly explain to your wife that standards for farangs are different, and she needs to respect your culture as much as you respect hers. Farangs don't believe that giving large sums of money to a poor rural family is generous, but instead shows foolishness, as a poor villager who hasn't shown they know how to responsibly handle money will surely waste the money and be back later hat in hand asking for more. Explain to her that showing you are a good person in the farang tradition means teaching her parents how to be responsible, and how to take care of money.

Give a little in sin sod right now, and then put the family on a stipend. Explain to your girlfriend you are doing this because you love her and truly want to take care of her family. Give the family 5000 baht per month, and make a commitment to teaching the family how to budget. Tell her that when they have demonstrated they know how to budget and spend this 5000 baht per month wisely, you will increase the stipend. Explain this is how farang cultures have grown to be wealthy, and that to truly help her family you believe you must adopt these methods. That simply following the Thai tradition in this case would not show generosity, but foolishness and lack of true concern for their well being. Again, stress that this shows true compassion in Western culture and why, and that if you are going to be married she has to commit to accepting your culture as much as you have to accept hers.

Yes, you can give small gifts to the family now and then in the tradition of Thai culture, but only if she also accepts the traditions of responsibility in farang culture. A marriage is a 2 way street, and there must be compromise on both sides. If she doesn't accept this, you have no choice but to walk away no matter your feelings for her.

Good luck.
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Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby fast eddy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:42 pm

It is a touchy subject - they are supposed to apply the sin sod rule if their young daughter is still 'intact'. Your culture probably dictates that her parents pay for the lot. India, which has a huge influence on Thai culture, dictates the bride's family pay you to marry their daughter - if they don't she gets a face full of acid or worse!
I was in your postion and having arrived with only 500bt to my name I only had the money I was earning from teaching at a government school. I explained to my "wife to be" that my salary was 35000bt a month and though I had saved about 300,000bt most of that had gone on courting her - return flights to Chiang Mai (from Bkk), hotels, restuarants etc. I could offer a sin sod of 20,000bt which her father could keep or return on the basis that I would send him 1, 500bt per month for odds and sods (her mother had died some years ago). He went for the monthly income.
I recommend that you do the same - explain your financial position to your girlfriend and offer 2000bt per month for the next ten years. The advantage of this is that you still retain some control over the situation. If there is a problem with them and they over demand you can appologise politely with a big wide Thai smile and explain '... we have our own issues and that I may not even be able to make the 2000bt payment this month! Times are tough - just watch the tv!'
Rule number one - there is always a victim! Rule number two - don't be it! With the montly payment you are in control. You can also decide when not to pay by using their logic against them. 'Sorry, can't pay you for the next six months or so as our cow died at home and my family need to get a new one! I have to help my family first!' Or you can pull out the old chestnut that 'My brother needs a new pick-up and I have to send him your 2000bt! - so sorry, so sorry!'
Finally, you have to understand that in Thailand it is much easier to appologise than to ask permission - that's why they put so much emphasis on their smile and the wai! You do your own thing and then grovel afterwards when it is too late. I often point this out to exchange students who live in home stays. If you ask for permission they will 9 times out of 10 say no! It's just a knee-jerk control issue. Best to do it without permission (if you think that your parents would approve and it would be deemed acceptable in your own culture) and then appologise very politely afterwards. How does this translate to your situation? You and her go ahead and marry - get it all done legally with registration etc. You can then have a village wedding at your own convenience and on your terms! You can wear a big Thai smile and enjoy that the ball is in your court. You can take all the time you like until conditions are satisfactory to you before you have your wedding! It sounds like you know that you're on a hiding to nothing if you marry into this family so don't beat yourself up trying to keep them sweet. Do your thing and plead poverty!
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Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby mark p on Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:38 pm

Do not be one of the fools every 747 has on it think about it be4 you hand over you hard earned cash as you might
just crash and burn in the end.What is there to say once you have given the money there wont be more demands
for more money ????? THINK ABOUT IT
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Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby Pohwa on Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:01 am

I am a Thai girl who now lives in the USA. I 've found this forum is very interesting. For my opinion , why you don't talk it out with your girlfreind. you said you supported her to go to shcool. I don't understand how her and her parents dared to ask for the Sin Sod thing. It sounds stupid to me. They are not considered ,neither your girlfriend. It seemed like her parents are selling her !! you have to make them think that you are just normal couple . what if you are just a Thai guy ! Would your girlfriend love you ? Please don't make them think that you are an walking ATM. There are a lot of some Thai people like that out there. Even you could afford to pay that money it will be just starting. You have to make it clear otherwise you will be sorry in your marriage life.... Good luck.
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Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby triptrip on Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:33 am

I can't say for others but just share my own experience.

When I got married this year, I had an arrangement with my in laws. We held our reception in Chinese dinner style. What happens is that I gave my in laws 5 tables. Meaning that whatever money received (you need to put in money into the invitation card) from that 3 tables is for them to keep. I of course pay for the tables which costs THB 11,000 each.

The money received from guests from the remaining 18 tables are meant for paying the entire costs of the wedding reception.

This is one way to compromise since westernes don't like paying directly to the in laws but are willing to sponsor in other ways.

Of course, my in laws are Thai Chinese and we held the reception in Bangkok. As I understand it, things may be a little bit different in the provinces.

Nonetheless, communication is the key, don't assume that you are always right. Keep talking with your wife to be, in laws, etc. That way, you gain a bigger and better picture.

Last of all, it's all good in the end, I hope.
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Re: Sin sod and in-law

Postby Jackson on Thu Dec 25, 2008 6:18 pm

I see the original post is from 2006... but i couldn't resist.

1 million baht and YOU paid for her college?!?!?

You can have my daughter for half that... lol
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