A Hong Kong bride posts on Facebook a declaration that if her guests cannot give her a cash wedding gift of at least $65.00, to not bother coming to the wedding. This went viral with not only her identity and photograph revealed but also her fiance and friends. Over 1000 people have declared their intention to “protest” at her wedding venue. Read the full story here.
THis raises several interesting issues regarding the Asian custom of guest giving packets of cash as a wedding gift and the societal expectation upon guests to do so. The article states that it is customary for family to stand by the door and receive these cash gifts as guests enter the wedding venue which certainly bringsto mind the concept that these cash gifts are really the entrance fee to attend the wedding. If the cultural expectation is that a cash gift is expected, then what happens when a guest attempts to enter the wedding venue without one? More likely, the cultural pressure is there to make sure no one gets into the wedding venue without cash lest they appear to be stingy.
The bride’s obvious disdain for her guests and prioritization of cash over relationships is rather disturbing and made more so by the fact that she had the audacity to publish her views on Facebook. The Internet didn’t take kindly to that and sought to inflict their own version of peer pressure on her in the form of cyberbullying. I would have unfriended her and declined to attend the wedding thus preferring to leave her to the cold realities of my own personal social ostracizing. But my actions are not likely to make much of a cultural change whereas the collective social disdain of hundreds will assuredly inhibition future expressions of greed by brides and grooms on social media. 1221-12