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Courtship and Marriage in China

China is a multinational country with 56 ethnic groups. According to

the 1991 census, 92 per cent of Chinas population is made up of Han
people. The Dai ethnic group is one of the 55 minority groups making up the
remaining 8 per cent of China's population.
The minority groups have many distinctive features such as different
styles of architecture, colorful ornaments and costumes, traditional folk
songs and dances, and marriage customs.
Jinghong is situated in Xishuangbanna in Yunnanc province in southwest China. In Xishuangbanna there are more than ten minority groups,
including the Dai people. There are a number of different groups of Dai
people. Three of these are the Han Dai, the Flower Belt Dai and the Jinuo
The Dai people, like other groups in China, have fascinating marriage
customs quite distinct from the majority of the population. Especially during
festivals, the Dai practice a variety of traditional courtship activities such
as throwing embroidered bags, countryside fairs and visiting girls.
Visiting girls is an ancient courtship tradition for young men and
women which takes place during the agricultural slack season. When all the
lights in the stilt houses have gone out, bonfires are made outside the
village. Dai women sit around the fire, softly turning their spinning wheels.
Silently, groups of young men, usually draped in red blankets, approach
to visit the young women, playing guitars or other musical instruments as
they walk around them. Finally, when they have taken a fancy to one of the
women, they slowly walk nearer. If a woman also takes a liking to the man,
she will take out a small stool from under her long skirt and invite him to sit
down beside her. As soon as the man sits down, he wraps the woman up in
his red blanket, and a heart-to-heart talk begins.
Courtship activities may be conducted at any place in any form. For
instance, a young man who goes up a mountain will sing folk songs to
express his interest if he meets a woman who attracts him.


JOINING hands over a running streamlet was a favorite mode of
Plighting Troths in former times. There is a pretty meaning in this. A modern
poet has well expressed the sentiment in these words:
"Like the waters at our feet, which never cease to flow,
Constant love I crave from thee thro' life, for weal or woe."
One of the most popular love-tokens of a bygone day was the Gimmal
Ring, a name derived from the Latin gemellus, joined, because the ring was
composed of two separate bands fitting into each other with little teeth; thus
allowing them to be divided at a betrothal, and put together again when the
betrothed parties approached the hymeneal altar. Such a ring was devised
to take the place of the Broken Coin, which among the Franks was the usual
token of the conclusion of a bargain. When lovers plighted their troths in this
way, the separated halves were always invested with mystic qualities in
virtue of the vows of constancy exchanged over them. Sometimes the coin
remained proof against breakage, and was merely bent; in which case a hole
was bored through it, and one or the other of the parties wore it round the
neck on a piece of ribbon, as a sort of talisman capable of warding off
disease and evil spirits. In this we trace the origin of the popular idea that a
coin with a hole in it is lucky. Many allusions to "Bowed Money" occur in the
works of the old dramatists.
It would seem that a Lock of Hair naturally suggested itself to the
minds of men and women as a love token. But this was not the original
meaning of the interchange of such a cherished treasure. In ancient times,
whenever a person of distinction was taken prisoner in war, or held to
ransom while on his travels, his relations were usually apprised of his
captivity by the receipt of a lock of his hair.
The Nuptial Kiss at the Altar is all that remains to us of an ancient
ceremony which always preceded the actual Marriage Service by a longer or
shorter period, according to circumstances. This was the Espousals, or
Solemn Betrothal. Generally speaking, the gift of a betrothal ring by the
bridegroom-elect to the bride-elect was considered sufficiently binding; but
in an age when it was the custom to invite the blessing of the Church upon
all the more serious transactions of life, public espousals were, taking the

population all round, matters of everyday occurrence. Besides, it often

happened that a love-sick swain was not sufficiently endowed with this
world's goods to give his future wife anything more substantial than an
espousal kiss. When this was the case, he naturally wished all his
acquaintance to bear witness to the fact that the young lady was solemnly
engaged to him, and that he meant to carry out his intention of marrying her
at the earliest opportunity. It was this espousal kiss, before witnesses, which
marked the difference between a sentimental compact, and one of a purely
mundane character. The mere joining of hands following words of promise
sufficed to ratify all ordinary bargains; but when the contractors joined lips
as well as hands, they breathed into each other the breath of life, and their
spiritual union was complete. Yet the kiss and joining of hands was only part
of the espousal ceremony. Like the modern Jews, the betrothed pair went
through a ceremonial which differed only from the actual Marriage Service in
that their mutual promises therein were expressed in the future tense
instead of in the present. In conclusion, they pledged each other in a cup of
wine, as do the Jews and the Russians at the present day. This pledging
each other in wine, it should be observed, is nothing more than a survival of
the once universal custom of parties drinking together in ratification of a

Courtship and Marriage in Korea

Recent days in Korea, there are many different ways of courtship and
marriage. They, Koreans, accept the ways from all around the world, but
there are also some rules that is not changed yet.
First of all, a usual course of courtship is here. A man says I love you
and gives a ring or necklace to a woman with an event. If a woman accepts
that courtship, they tell their parents. They get an appointment and will
meet two families. After meeting, they decide marriage. There is not any
fixed period or ways of courtship. Therefore, there are various ways in
courtship. Man sometimes uses candles, call event companies, or be helped
their friends, etc for giving her a jewel for success courtship.
There are various ways of marriage in Korea. Generally, they marry
the way that western people do. A bride wears a wedding dress, a husband
wears tuxedo. However, recent days, people challenge another ways of
marriage. They marry in water, in the sky, anywhere inside or outside. They
sometimes take Choson Dynasty generations marriage way. Not changed
one is that after marriage, a man and wife go on a honeymoon.
In Korea, it keeps springing up new ways of courtship and marriage.
With some not changed rules, they create more impressive and fun ways.
They usually review the old and learning the new. That is the modern way of
Korean courtship and marriage.

Courtship and Marriage in Taiwan

Courtship. The typical courtship began in church or at a family
celebration. While in the past parents often chose their childrens spouses
with an eye to increasing the familys wealth or landholdings, by the mid
nineteenth century most young people, and many parents, believed that
men and women should marry for love. This romantic idea of love based on
mutual attraction was reinforced by sentimental poetry and short stories in
theLadies Repository and Godeys
Book. Permission from parents was still important, but young people often
followed their own inclinations, even in the South, where parents still
exercised greater control over their childrens lives. Most young people
frowned on flirtations. The notion that someone would make up to a
person of the opposite sex without serious intentions of marriage was
considered fast, not to say disreputable. Although this rule applied to both
men and women, criticism of the female flirt was sharper.
Engagement and Marriage. Long engagements were common; it
was not considered proper for a young couple to marry until the man could
support his wife in a decent home and until the bride had collected her bridal
clothes and established her trousseau, which included such important items
as bedding, linens, curtains, and kitchen-ware. Engagements could be
broken off for several reasons, usually misunderstandings, jealousies, or the
discovery that ones partner was not compatible. Before 1860 the typical
couple was married at the brides home in the presence of immediate family
members and a few close friends. During the 1860s and 1870s middle-class
weddings became more elaborate. The brides family often sent engraved
invitations to a wide range of relatives and acquaintances. Church weddings
became more common because the typical family parlor could not hold all
the guests, and weddings were often followed by lavish receptions. Many
middle-class brides who could afford to do so wore flowing white gowns and
veils, a style that originated with wealthy women in the 1830s. American
brides and grooms married somewhat later than their European
counterparts. By 1860 most Americans were in their early to mid twenties
when they married, with the average age somewhat lower in the South.
Slave women married in their late teens and began their child-bearing years
around the age of nineteen.

Courtship and Marriage in Singapore

Courtship is a period that is essential for building a successful
relationship and maintaining it for years to come. It serves as the time when
two individuals decide if a future together is possible or not. It also offers
them an opportunity to build the much needed trust and love for their
relationship. While there is no rigid guide that defines the necessary steps
you must take during the courtship, but here are a few tips will make this
time more favourable and memorable for the two of you.
Understand your partners life and lifestyle
Courtship is not just about love songs, romantic cards, a fortune spent
on flowers or gifts. It is a time to get to know the person who is going to
become your life partner. Share your likes and dislikes, hobbies and
interests with each other. Learn about each others lifestyle. Take time to
learn things that make your better-half happy, and consider doing them
together. For instance, if your would-be enjoys watching cricket, then you
can make plans to watch an upcoming match together over some good food
and drinks.

Contrast and Comparison of the Asian Countries

The largest continent, Asia is 17,500,000 square miles in area, almost
twice the size of N. America. You haven't revealed how you partitioned but I
choose this partition (I'll justify too).

West Asia,
South & South East Asia,
Central Asia,
East Asia,
North Asia.

1. West Asia : It is largely desert, being the extension of the Great Sahara
from the Atlantic some 5000 km to west. It contrasts this way from other
regions, but compares with Central Asia in this matter. The only two
significant rivers are - Euphrates & Tigris. The region is home to Islam & has
largest deposits of Petroleum & natural gas. Birth place of main Semitic

religions (Judaism, Christianity & Islam) though Christianity ceased to be

predominantly Asian but became European. It has most contacts with
Central Asia - ethnic, religious & linguistic. It is known (in old Geography
texts) as 'land of 5 seas' - Arabian Sea (with Persian Gulf), Red Sea,
Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea &Caspian Sea that is a land-locked salt water
body. It has one of the three major Asian peninsulas, Arabia that is also
world's largest.
Broadly it has 3 Cultures - Arab, Persian & Turkish (which is more
Countries are- Yemen, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon,
Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia & Georgia.
2. South & SE Asia : It is the region of the other two Asian southern
peninsulas - Deccan (India) & SE Asia. These two regions with Monsoon
climates, large stretches of Tropical Rain-forests (but systematically
decimated now) and many rivers - Mekong, Salween, Irrawady, GangaBrahmaputra, Godavari, Narmada, Krishna, Mahanadi, Sindhu ('Indus'is
more popular). Singapore almost touches Equator or else none of mainland
Asia comes near it. But the vast Sunda archipelago with 5 great Islands and
3000 more of all sizes straddles Equator. South Asia is separated from rest
of Asia by the lofty 'Himalayas' system of mountain ranges.
It contrasts with West Asia & Central Asia in being very wet (but for
Thar desert part in the North West of India-Pakistan).
Countries -Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, SriLanka, Burma, Thailand,
Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, PauaNuGini, Cambodia,
Laos & Vietnam. The island nation 'Maldives' can be considered a part.
Recently Afghanistan was admitted into South Asian Assn. for regional Cooperation tagging it with South Asia.
3. Central Asia : Starting with Eastern shore of Caspian Sea, it is all desert
(Karakum, Kyzilkum in Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan), semi desert or steppes
and (predictably) with vast resources of oil & gas. There are two great inland
rivers - Amu Darya & Syr Darya (Darya means river) emptying into a fast
drying inland sea, "Aral Sea". Mountain ranges Pamir knot of mountains,
Hindukush, Kunlun, Altay, Tien Shan give a dry alpine climate in mid
latitudes. A depression below sea level is situated in the midst of these
('Tarim' basin).

The people are Turkic (not Turkish of Turkey) and all Muslims.
Geographically Mongolia (of Mongols), Xinjiang & Tibet (Buddhist), the
highest plateau (average at 16000') which are parts of China are considered
part of the region.
Countries: Kazakhistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Afghanistan, Xinjian & Tibet regions & Mongolia.
4. East Asia: It has the 'China climate' (Koppen classification) and like South
Asia is fertile and also outlier islands like Japan (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu
& Shikoku are main), Taiwan, Ryu-kyu chain.
China is a vast with mighty rivers like Yangtze kiang, Hwang Ho and with
Amur forming border of Northern Asia. People are all of Mongol stock
Countries - China, Koreas, Japan, Taiwan.
5. Northern Asia: This 'quarter of Asia' is Russia; 'Siberia' starting on West at
Urals extending to Kamchatka peninsula till Bering straits. Much of its Arctic
coasts is covered up in 'permafrost' that never is seen melting. There are 3
great rivers Ob, Yenisei & Lena flowing north into Arctic Sea, with mouths
into the sea clogged with snow retaining water upstream except in Summer.
Country : Russia (3/4 of it).
Amongst the 5 contrasts abound and without much to compare.
Diversity in Asia in landforms, People, Cultures and climatic zones and even
topography (elevations) is extreme compared to any other continent. It is
difficult to typecast and say 'Asian'; it is futile.
General observation of these asian countries about their courtship
and marriage.
Often, a Filipino male suitor expresses his interest to a woman in a
discreet and friendly manner in order to avoid being perceived as very
"presumptuous or aggressive" or arrogant. Culturally, another gentlemanly
way of seeking the attention of a woman is not to be done by the admirer by
approaching her in the street to casually ask for her address or telephone
number. Although having a series of friendly dates is the normal starting
point in the Filipino way of courting, this may also begin through the process
of "teasing", a process of "pairing off" a potential teenage or adult couple.

The teasing is done by peers or friends of the couple being matched. The
teasing practice assists in discerning the actual feelings of the male and the
female involved. Traditionally, a Filipino woman is "shy and secretive" about
her feelings for a suitor. On the other hand, the Filipino man fears rejection
by a woman and would like to avoid losing face and embarrassment. This
teasing phase actually helps in circumventing such an embarrassing
predicament because formal courtship has not yet officially started.
Furthermore, this "testing phase" also helps a man who could be "torpe",
a Filipino term for a suitor who is shy, "stupid", and feels cowardly, and is
innocent and nave in how to court a woman. However, this type of admirer
could overcome his shyness and naivety by asking for the help of a "human
bridge", typically a mutual friend of both the suitor and the admired, or a
close friend of both families. The "human bridge" acts as the suitor's
communicator. Through this "human-bridge", the bachelor can also ask
permission to visit the woman at home from the bachelorette's father. As a
norm, the couple will not be left alone with each other during this first home
visit, because formal introductions to family members are done, which may
be performed by the "human bridge". Informal conversation also takes
During this preliminary evaluation period, the Filipino woman will
either deny her feelings (or the absence of feelings for the suitor) and avoids
her admirer, or does not become angry because of the teasing and
encourages the suitor instead. The suitor stops the courtship if he is quite
sure that the woman does not reciprocate. But once the female encourages
the suitor to continue, the "teasing stage" comes to a close and a "serious
stage" of Philippine courtship begins. It is within this stage where the couple
engages in a series of group dates, chaperoned dates, or private dates. The
couple later on decides to come out into the open and reveals the status of
their relationship to family members, relatives, and friends. The serious
suitor or boyfriend visits the family of the woman he admires/courts
or girlfriend in order to formally introduce himself, particularly to the lady's
parents. Bringing gifts or pasalubon (which may include flowers, with cards,
or letters, and the like) is also typical. Courting a woman in the Philippines is
described as a courtship that also includes courting the woman's family. The
actual boyfriend-girlfriend relationship may also result from such formal
visits. In the past, particularly in a rural courtship setting, a Filipino man,
accompanied by friends, would engage in serenading the woman he adores

at night. This serenading practice was an influence adopted by the Filipinos

from the Spaniards.
During the courtship process, a traditional Filipina is expected to play
"hard to get", to act as if not interested, to be not flirty, and show utmost
restraint, modesty, shyness, good upbringing, be well-mannered, demure,
and reserved despite having great feelings for her admirer; a behavior
culturally considered appropriate while being courted. This behavior serves
as a tool in measuring the admirer's sincerity and seriousness. The woman
can also have as many suitors, from which she could choose the man that
she finally would want to date. Dating couples are expected to be
conservative and not perform public displays of affection for each other.
Traditionally, some courtship may last a number of years before the Filipino
woman accepts her suitor as a boyfriend. Conservativeness, together with
repressing emotions and affection, was inherited by the Filipino woman from
the colonial period under the Spaniards, a characteristic referred to as
the Maria Clara attitude.
After the girlfriend-boyfriend stage, engagement, and marriage
follows. With regards to the engagement and pre-marriage stages, Filipino
the pamamanhika or pamanhikan (literally, a Tagalog word that means "to
go up the stairs of the house" of the girlfriend and her
parents; pamamanhikan is
as tampa or danon to
the Ilocanos,
as pasaguli to the Palaweos, and as kapamalai to the Maranaos). This is
where and when the man and his parent's formally ask the lady's hand and
blessings from her parents in order to marry. This is when the formal
introduction of the man's parents and woman's parents happens. Apart from
presents, the Cebuano version of the pamamanhikan includes bringing in
musicians. After setting the date of the wedding and the dowry, the couple is
considered officially engaged. The dowry, as a norm in the Philippines, is
provided by the grooms family. For the Filipino people, marriage is a union
of two families, not just of two persons. Therefore, marrying well "enhances
the good name" of both families.

Project in TLE-III

Submitted by: Allyssa Joie O. Doton

Submitted to: Mrs. Joanna B. Jose