The normal coloured text bits are what traditionally occurred, the light blue bit of the text is the modern context.
The first part is:
A proposal, whereby a go between was made to make a proposal and then an acceptance back and forth sort of like an estate agent with negotiations between parents. The bride and groom had no input into this. Marriage was for alliances money and family lines.
Men's parents would seek girls and offer gifts. The gifts can be anything in rural areas this might have been animals, grain, gold opium etc, however the family are judged upon the gifts. And thus care needs to be taken much like a modern context. I.e. if you buy your girl friend perfume she may take offence and may think you think she smells.
What happens next is then an emissary not dissimilar to a yenta record the date and times of birth formally and take this to the family ancestral home. Then ask a fortune teller if there was anything wrong with this information i.e. if it was an unlucky name or there were some omens. Also to ask if there would be a good match between the sons and daughters.
The same thing would happen with the bride to be.
Only if both were favourable would the families meet face to face and discuss like a job interview education, appearance, income and social position.
In modern times this does not happen so much, Billy my cousin got married and there was no such ritual, it was more he met her in a bar they dated they married. Billy works as a labourer and his wife works a call centre job, this does not happen at all.
My acquaintances who got married in the UK, this didn't happen at all.
In a highly cynical modern context, the proposal of meeting of families is a job interview, TCG has far too often sat through dates where parents are present (what the fuck is with this?) and it is like a fucking job interview. It means is the man rich?
Take for example 李嘉欣 (Lee Kar Yan) Michelle Reis, Michelle Reis is usually regarded as a fake, a bitch, for her tendency to go after married wealthy men and is universally hated by women because she is hot. I would bang her endlessly even though she is 40 or so now, seriously she has the looks without photoshop. Chinese girls today still use her as a yard stick in terms of hotness and beauty. Though it is hard to get the looks of Lee Kar Yan as her looks are from being half Portugese which give her the height and paleness which is real. TCG has actually seen LKY in the flesh she REALLY does look like her photos.
Another excuse to post pictures of hot Chinese women (btw the pictures are from the film Fallen Angels 1995 the sequel sort of to Chungking Express).
Anyway Lee Kar Yan got married this guy, a guy who would normally not have a chance unless he was seriously wealthy, he is seriously wealthy, heh I have bumped into him and know people who have bumped into him and he is a proper nerd my big toe has more social skills than he does. Ergo my cynicism on the initial 'interview' meeting of families, heh when I worked as an accountant and made lots of money (or so they thought as I was a piss poor paid accountant, like most accountants actually as there is a hierarchy only the ones at the top get well paid the salaried staff get fuck all), I used to get shit loads of these interview dates. Now I am considerably poorer piss poor in fact with enough time to run this blog, such dates have diminished correlation?
Ok ok sure sure there could be some love in there but what are the odds ?
I'm not bitter towards women about this as this is merely their nature by and large as 1000000 years of evolution has made them seek partners who potentially can provide for them in the future and therefore give their hypothetical children the best start in life. As nature's joke men go after as many women as possible as it is in their nature.
Prt2 tomorrow about the Bequeathment of gifts, or the more cynical title: "These are just dowry gifts' I'm not pimping my daughter out how dare you!"