The Four Big Items For My Chinese In-laws' Marriage | Speaking of China

9 Responses

  1. Sara
    Sara July 11, 2011 at 3:19 am | | Reply

    I love reading about your in-laws! It’s interesting to hear what life and marriage was like back in the 70’s and so. Before I was even born. I just hope that after 40 years Chinese people would laugh at house-car-money because in 2050’s everyone is free to marry who they love no matter if they have lots of money or not.

  2. Claire
    Claire July 11, 2011 at 5:38 am | | Reply

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes full circle and people start asking for more practical gifts, especially if people continue to struggle to get on the property ladder. The good (or bad) thing about receiving money as a gift is that you can get whatever you want/need with it.

    Personally, I would be more than happy with a new bike and a radio! 🙂

  3. gregorylent
    gregorylent July 11, 2011 at 5:51 am | | Reply

    do they know pinyin? can use a computer .. i just had my eyes open to the fact that many earlier generation people never learned pinyin (obviously)

  4. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian July 11, 2011 at 6:58 am | | Reply

    Interesting read. I can’t recall what were the 四大件 here in Malaysia. Or maybe we did not have the four big items thing where marriage was concerned. Cute images.

  5. MB
    MB July 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm | | Reply

    Love reading everyones comments, I have some questions.
    Today marriage is a house, car, money and if the young man doesn’t have these “3 big items” the parents of the girl may persuade her to find someone else; was it the same in the 70’s if the man didn’t have the “4 big items”?
    When did house, car, money come into “play” in China? Even in Western societies the chances of a man having all 3 prior to marriage is pretty much imposible.
    If a man needs to have a house, car, money prior to marriage what does the girl bring to the marriage? Does she have some kind of dowry ?

  6. sam
    sam July 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm | | Reply

    The 4 big items, as my mom always reminds me, consist of the earrings, the ring, the necklace and bracelet, all in gold. I certainly do not recall anything about the big items being the car, house etc.

  7. ChinaMatt
    ChinaMatt July 12, 2011 at 10:51 am | | Reply

    My wife and I pretty much had nothing when we got married (well, I had my car, but it was 8000 miles away). She just wanted a nice rented place to live and to take care of her mom.

  8. BRUCE
    BRUCE July 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm | | Reply

    Personally, I feel that it doesn’t matter how much money you make or have in the bank account. It’s how you use money to make you happy. Finding a woman who really knows that concept and down to earth is hard. Normally, Chinese people give gold on wedding day.

  9. Loo Wen
    Loo Wen July 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | | Reply


    Nice choice of graphics.

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