THE CULTURE AND CUSTOM OF THE CHINESE COMMUNITIES: MARRIAGE - ENGAGEMENT
The engagement day is held according to the Chinese calendar and must be suitable with the couple birth zodiac. The service of a palmist is sought to determine the date guided by the book Toong-Su. This is important as if held on an unsuitable date it is believed that disaster will struck and the marriage will fail. At this time the would-be groom visits the would-be bride house to fulfill the requests. The exchanging of rings takes place according to the stipulated time. The rings are worn on the left ring fingers until the marriage day. To prove her agreement, the would-be bride gives to her fiancÃ a red paper called Nyen-Sang given by the palmist and written on it her name, age and date of birth.
After the Nyen-Sang is received the man gives his particulars together with the Nyen-Sang to the palmist who will calculate the suitable day and time based on the given details of the would-be couple, and notes it on a piece of red paper called Nyik-Sor. The prediction for the suitable day is done according to the couple birth years. After obtaining the suitable date and time the palmist readies two pieces of Nyik-Kor papers to be given to the would-be couple. The Nyik-Kor contains the specific customs and regulations to be abided by the would-be couple.
The dowry is normally handed over during the exchanging of the wedding rings or at other day like a marriage day held at the Office of the Registrar of Marriage. Among the dowry is a gold ring, a complete set of clothing attire, clothing materials and cash. If the groom does not ready an enough amount of dowry then it is substituted with a bigger amount of cash. The bigger is the amount of dowry given the higher is the status of the man. Together with the submission of dowry the woman family is informed of the marriage date and discussions will be held with the woman family.