Betrothal Gifts and “Bothersome Custom”

Laurel Kendall

in Getting Married in Korea

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780520201989
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916784 | DOI:
Betrothal Gifts and “Bothersome Custom”

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This chapter focuses on bothersome wedding customs in Korea, including betrothal gifts. It explains that the practice of gift-box delivery is faulty because it is a new custom, lacks the authority of tradition, and is implicated in more general critiques of rampant mammonism. The chapter criticizes the practice of paying a gift-box fee for the sake of the groom's face and in gratitude to his family, and argues that gender dichotomies play against a major contradiction in Korean ritual life.

Keywords: wedding; customs; Korea; betrothal gifts; gift-box delivery; new custom; mammonism; gender dichotomies

Chapter.  12508 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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