Give and take

@vandana7 (78009)
India
November 26, 2020 10:52am CST
Our environment has something to do with it, I guess. So my aunt's daughter's son is getting married. I thought aunt would buy the incoming girl some clothes and jewelry. But aunt says no, she has to give me. I will give her nothing. At 85 can she expect a 27 odd year old to give? How is that welcoming an outsider into the family fold? Some rules of give and take were drilled into me during hostel life. They are sharp contrast to what goes on here. Like I cannot bring myself to take from youngsters. If forced to do so, by circumstances, I will ensure I repay it at the earliest. I cannot bring myself to take from those who are economically disadvantaged, for anything other than my profession. I cannot bring myself to take from those who are socially disadvantaged. I cannot bring myself to take from those who are older than I, and I haven't a clue of their financial status. It is difficult for the elderly to earn should they run short of monies. I cannot bring myself to take from physically or mentally challenged either. So there is a very small window for taking from my perspective. I am also circumspect while giving. I give only the amounts that I can afford to forget about. But traditional folks here, including my parent shock my senses. While on this, I have taken a lot of flak for refusing to take the daughter's dowry. Yeah, every time a boy marries, his sisters are given a fairly huge sum in our community. When I refused to take it, it had become an epoch making event some 20 odd years ago. They said I was insulting the girl and her family as if the gifts given by them do not please me. Can you believe it? The girl's mother was a widow, and she worked hard for that money. It is one thing to give some clothes, which can be treated as return favor for the gift. It is another thing to get huge sum and gold jewelry. Do I need to change or do these people need to change? I am unable to figure it out.
8 people like this
7 responses
@rebelann (79588)
• El Paso, Texas
26 Nov
I used to be like that until someone told me bluntly that when giving someone a gift it is rude not to accept. So what I finally did was give in return something they would need at a later date. That at least cannot be taken as rude.
4 people like this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
26 Nov
Return gift is fine. The values shock me. Kinda, saree of approximately 350 usd, jewelry of approximately 2500 USD is unacceptable. Even a combination of 100 usd is unacceptable. Gifting at the time of marriage is to enable the new couple begin their lives comfortably. It shouldn't overwhelm them such that they feel obliged to return something. Return gifts cannot be different for different level of gifting. So there should be no bickering about it either. Unfortunately, a lot of bickering does happen about return gifts. But in the present scenario, or relationship, gifts move from the girl's side only. That is so horrid.
4 people like this
@rebelann (79588)
• El Paso, Texas
26 Nov
I was not thinking of the gifts that a bride and groom receive @vandana7 I was thinking about what you said that you were given a gift as a sister and you refused it so I thought that perhaps you could have given something in return at a later date.
4 people like this
@DaddyEvil (30799)
• United States
27 Nov
@rebelann I might be mistaken, but from what I've been told, gift giving in India follows customs and incurs an obligation in return. Again, I might be misunderstanding something, but gifts given during a wedding are counted against a family, not an individual. So you can't expect to give a return gift to an individual. It doesn't work that way. Their customs still confuse the crap out of me. They follow no common sense system that I've been able to figure out... And vanny will correct anything I've said that is wrong or misleading.
3 people like this
@garymarsh6 (22428)
• United Kingdom
26 Nov
No, No, no you do not need to change l think these traditions are dated and out moded leaving thousands of people in debt and suffering unnecessary hardship. It goes on here too Vanny in the Asian community and puts real hardship on families. Hopefully others will see sense in your actions. You are a good and sensible woman!
3 people like this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
26 Nov
I am a branded rebel. LOL. I had all relatives calling me, making me sit one by one at the dining table, telling me, the incoming girl will feel bad, and her mother too. They were saying the girl will think she is not welcome. How that logic worked I don't know. They also gave some sweets, so I had accepted those! That was also in a steel box. That token was good enough! I thought. She is adamant, rude, uncultured. Yeah...that is how I am thought of. But for nuts I couldn't figure out how I insulted that lady. A suitcase filled with clothes, some cash and some gold jewelry. I am only a cousin sister. That was kind of so unfair a demand! Even family friends tried to convince me.
3 people like this
@ptrikha_2 (28394)
• India
27 Nov
@garymarsh6 People carry on irritating practices just in the name of traditions. At times, those who oppose such things are subjected to rejection and contempt.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
28 Nov
@garymarsh6 LOL..You do not live in India so kinda you can afford to take a stand like that. I live here and have to live among these people. So I really face the music. But we cannot go against our conscience can we? How can we live with that? That sister's dowry share is demand, not a gift. The parents of the boy specify in the arranged marriage this is what you need to give us, and our folks. I had no role in that demand. The girl is acceptable to me with just her daily wear. A hug is the biggest gift.
2 people like this
@ptrikha_2 (28394)
• India
26 Nov
Well whatever speeches we might listen to, or advice(s) we listen, the harsh fact is that a lot in India is so biased, orthodox and well irritating. In some bigger cities, there is no outright dowry but well, the Boys' families do expect certain things, especially a brand new car. In some villages, often Panchayats issue orders that are not in sync with the current times.
2 people like this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
26 Nov
When it is so close quarters as my parent and aunt, and an aunt with whom I get along quite well, it is kinda am I wrong. What is wrong after all. What ten people feel is wrong is wrong. Or is it.
2 people like this
@ptrikha_2 (28394)
• India
27 Nov
@vandana7 May be being a good person in the modern times is "wrong"! Even I at times feel so.
2 people like this
@ptrikha_2 (28394)
• India
27 Nov
@vandana7 At times, we have to follow. At times, the situation does not warrants arguments.
2 people like this
@LindaOHio (54840)
• United States
26 Nov
Traditions are hard to change. Maybe you could be the one to make a breakthrough.
2 people like this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
27 Nov
I am not sufficient. Others too must join the bandwagon. But few do.
2 people like this
@jstory07 (99837)
• Roseburg, Oregon
26 Nov
There is no reason for you to change the way that you do things,
2 people like this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
27 Nov
The post came because I read something about "shunning" among Amish. It is sort of excommunication. My taking a stand like that has done something like excommunicating me. I don't get invitations to many of the functions.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Nov
some folks're stuck'n the traditions 'f their ancestors i reckon. hard to get 'em to change, one's gotta 've the desire to do such'n then act. please don't change :)
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
27 Nov
Thanks. You made me feel correct. You cannot understand how good that feels. Elders are not always right, notwithstanding the fact that we love them. It is tough to take a stand when such conflicts are there. I confess I give up quite often to keep the noise down. But at times, I do stand up.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov
@vandana7 yer welcome. i'm glad ya pick yer battles 'n that'cha 'lso strive to keep the waters jest a ripple when possible.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (78009)
• India
28 Nov
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (62166)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
I completely agree with you on all counts, but especially the dowry business. That's like saying that the girl isn't good enough on her own and her groom deserves to be paid for taking her on.
1 person likes this