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What is a reasonable dowry that parents can give a daughter when she gets married?

Update: February, 06/2015 - 09:55
Photo vietnamnet

Vietnamese parents, like those in many other Asian countries, have the tradition of giving their daughter some money and/or some jewellery on her big day – a voluntary dowry, so to speak. The gifts are not only a token of parental love, but also seen as a duty-bound "something-for-a-rainy-day" offering as she leaves to set up her home elsewhere.

However, netizens this week were shocked to hear about the largesse that a pair of rich parents in the southern province of Dong Nai bestowed on their daughter - 10 red books (land use registrations), a built-up house worth VND5 billion (US$240,000) and a luxurious Lexus.

Inevitably, comparisons were drawn with what children have received from the world's richest parents, particularly Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet. Sizeable sums were involved, but these amounted to a small fraction of their total wealth, most of which has or will go to charity, it has been reported.

What do you think of the Vietnamese tradition? Do you think that it has become overly materialistic? Should parents give such a lot of wealth to show their love for their children? Should Viet Nam also have an Estate Tax?

Please reply by email to:, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, February 12, 2015. — VNS


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