How much should one give in a Wedding Hong Bao?

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Wind In My Hair
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Post by Wind In My Hair » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 10:44 pm

JR8 wrote:1) It wasn't 'convenient'. I just thought you were making sweeping racist statements about westerners that's all :D . And we wouldn't want that would we? :D
Of course not. Only westerners are allowed to make sweeping racist statements about Singaporeans.

(Since we're having such a hard time understanding each other, I should point out that there was a wee bit of sarcasm there, and also that this sarcasm is in good-natured jest. And I'm not normally sarcastic except that I recall several of your posts being downright contemptuous of Singaporeans and while I find such an attitude silly rather than offensive, I assume that you can take as good as you give and so feel a certain licence to be ruder to you than I am to other posters, rightly or wrongly. If it's wrongly then I apologise.)
JR8 wrote:I am not 'combating' you, I am having a discussion. I am not in the slightest bit offended, are you? You need to tell me WIMH if you're honestly antagonised by this kind of chat, as it confuses the hell out of me, and some of the mods it seems.
Well I was having a discussion too, until you said I had my gloves up and I had to explain that I'm not wearing said gloves. I fight bare-fisted the eastern kungfu way, unlike you western wimps who need gloves (cue JOKE!)

Confusing you is rather fun but in the interest of peace I should explain that in real life I tend towards non-confrontation which means that if I didn't like you I wouldn't even talk to you. So our discussion now is a very good sign (no joke, serious now).
JR8 wrote:Having gone though it I can understand it, yes. But I still think all this 'pleasing the parents' stuff, put before seeking your own path and happiness, if I can use an Americanism, really sucks.
Difference in values. You're more individualistic and place more value on the self (and I make no moral judgment on this observation) while others are more societal and place more value on the 'village'. Both attitudes suck and inspire in their own different ways.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 14 Dec 2010 11:13 pm

Sure wish I had the ability to tiptoe down a barbed-wire fence with land-mines on both sides like that! :wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 2:19 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
JR8 wrote:1) It wasn't 'convenient'. I just thought you were making sweeping racist statements about westerners that's all :D . And we wouldn't want that would we? :D
Of course not. Only westerners are allowed to make sweeping racist statements about Singaporeans.

Of course. That is because we are superior, and if it wasn't for us you'd all be living in mud-huts on some crab infested mud-flat. Tsssk, can't you show more gratitude?

(Since we're having such a hard time understanding each other,

No, it's ok. I think I'm getting your measure now. It's just I hate to offend :lol:


I should point out that there was a wee bit of sarcasm there, and also that this sarcasm is in good-natured jest.

Good!

And I'm not normally sarcastic except that I recall several of your posts being downright contemptuous of Singaporeans

Oh per-lease will you give it a break! This is not the Oxford Union Debating Society it is a forum populated largely by expats. It is not unexpected that many will come here and shoot their mouths off occasionally, you know vent their frustrations like in a bar after work. To take offence at finding that here, is I'd suggest a misjudgement on your part.

and while I find such an attitude silly rather than offensive, I assume that you can take as good as you give and so feel a certain licence to be ruder to you than I am to other posters, rightly or wrongly. If it's wrongly then I apologise.)

I'm not sure quite what you expect to find here? A bunch of foreigners in a foreign land, with no observations, other than positive ones, about their host country?
JR8 wrote:I am not 'combating' you, I am having a discussion. I am not in the slightest bit offended, are you? You need to tell me WIMH if you're honestly antagonised by this kind of chat, as it confuses the hell out of me, and some of the mods it seems.
Well I was having a discussion too, until you said I had my gloves up and I had to explain that I'm not wearing said gloves. I fight bare-fisted the eastern kungfu way, unlike you western wimps who need gloves (cue JOKE!)

We're reacting on all the wrong signals from each other. Typical SGn really. Really!


Confusing you is rather fun but in the interest of peace I should explain that in real life I tend towards non-confrontation which means that if I didn't like you I wouldn't even talk to you. So our discussion now is a very good sign (no joke, serious now).

Genuine thanks. It is mutual :wink:
JR8 wrote:Having gone though it I can understand it, yes. But I still think all this 'pleasing the parents' stuff, put before seeking your own path and happiness, if I can use an Americanism, really sucks.
Difference in values. You're more individualistic and place more value on the self (and I make no moral judgment on this observation) while others are more societal and place more value on the 'village'. Both attitudes suck and inspire in their own different ways.
As SMS suggested. Heavens, you must have had ballet shoes on to tread so daintily down that fence! :wink:

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 3:18 am

JR8 wrote:It is true, in SG they seem to invite just about anyone, you know the 'bosses aunties neighbours friend', who they've never met.

Don't quite get that. Does the size of wedding itself bring kudos, even if you don't know many or most people there?
Maybe they can count on the angpows to support it? :) As per who is invited I agree, probably more strangers here but I do not think it is THAT different. I do not know what is the reason but I recognize one thing indirectly pointed out by WIMH - sometimes you invite to please or not to offend especially if there are like 2-3 generations involved. For the Western wedding money is ultimately the factor limiting the No of guests from one point on - perhaps here is less (getting back to the starting sentence).

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 4:39 am

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:It is true, in SG they seem to invite just about anyone, you know the 'bosses aunties neighbours friend', who they've never met.

Don't quite get that. Does the size of wedding itself bring kudos, even if you don't know many or most people there?

Maybe they can count on the angpows to support it? :) As per who is invited I agree, probably more strangers here but I do not think it is THAT different. I do not know what is the reason but I recognize one thing indirectly pointed out by WIMH - sometimes you invite to please or not to offend especially if there are like 2-3 generations involved. For the Western wedding money is ultimately the factor limiting the No of guests from one point on - perhaps here is less (getting back to the starting sentence).
Well isn't that the thing, perhaps it is circular as you suggest. But why invite people you (or anyone else) don't know in the first place?

I've been to quite a few weddings in SG, and often it does seem to be something of a numbers game. You invite the whole neighbourhood, they turn up, eat, (fill their handbags with food), leave and that's about it. At least in a typical western wedding it is friends and family, more focused and personal, and they're there for the event/party and will usually stay for the duration unless having reasons not to - after all it would be rude not to.

Agreed that it is common across cultures to 'invite to please (satisfy) others'. Probably why my mother went into paroxysms when I took total iron control of the invite list. Having announced it at just three months notice, half a world away, there was little she could do despite her best efforts to get her wooden spoon in, even on the very last night. Mothers! <sigh>

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 8:31 am

JR8 wrote:Well isn't that the thing, perhaps it is circular as you suggest. But why invite people you (or anyone else) don't know in the first place?

But is it really the case? For a few weddings I attended I did not get such impression. It always appeared to be within the family and the social circle. On the non-family side - typically all the colleagues form the current work group and selected ppl from previous work places and then some friends from some other "sources"

I've been to quite a few weddings in SG, and often it does seem to be something of a numbers game. You invite the whole neighbourhood, they turn up, eat, (fill their handbags with food), leave and that's about it. At

On the other hand it may be also the village/tribal thing - you invite the whole neighbourhood to share your joy (idealistic approach) or just to show off (your daughter is getting married and this is the wedding ppl will talk about for the years to come). Again, I would say also pretty common in the Western culture.

least in a typical western wedding it is friends and family, more focused and personal, and they're there for the event/party and will usually stay for the duration unless having reasons not to - after all it would be rude not to.

True, but this is just a different POV for this kind of ceremony. For some the registration is already important, for the others the church wedding only. POV. This is the ppl who create the value not the rituals by their sheer existence, right? :)

Agreed that it is common across cultures to 'invite to please (satisfy) others'. Probably why my mother went into paroxysms when I took total iron control of the invite list. Having announced it at just three months notice, half a world away, there was little she could do despite her best efforts to get her wooden spoon in, even on the very last night. Mothers! <sigh>
Fortunately nobody interfered with our list and actually we first planned to invite really closest family and friends but it ended up with much more expanded version just to avoid unnecessary and potentially sour situations. Still some people left out got offended :)

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 4:59 pm

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:Well isn't that the thing, perhaps it is circular as you suggest. But why invite people you (or anyone else) don't know in the first place?

1 But is it really the case? For a few weddings I attended I did not get such impression. It always appeared to be within the family and the social circle. On the non-family side - typically all the colleagues form the current work group and selected ppl from previous work places and then some friends from some other "sources"

I've been to quite a few weddings in SG, and often it does seem to be something of a numbers game. You invite the whole neighbourhood, they turn up, eat, (fill their handbags with food), leave and that's about it. At

2 On the other hand it may be also the village/tribal thing - you invite the whole neighbourhood to share your joy (idealistic approach) or just to show off (your daughter is getting married and this is the wedding ppl will talk about for the years to come). Again, I would say also pretty common in the Western culture.

least in a typical western wedding it is friends and family, more focused and personal, and they're there for the event/party and will usually stay for the duration unless having reasons not to - after all it would be rude not to.

3 True, but this is just a different POV for this kind of ceremony. For some the registration is already important, for the others the church wedding only. POV. This is the ppl who create the value not the rituals by their sheer existence, right? :)

Agreed that it is common across cultures to 'invite to please (satisfy) others'. Probably why my mother went into paroxysms when I took total iron control of the invite list. Having announced it at just three months notice, half a world away, there was little she could do despite her best efforts to get her wooden spoon in, even on the very last night. Mothers! <sigh>
4
Fortunately nobody interfered with our list and actually we first planned to invite really closest family and friends but it ended up with much more expanded version just to avoid unnecessary and potentially sour situations. Still some people left out got offended :)
1) It could be because - IIRC - all the weddings I have been to in SG have been void-deck/community hall affairs. They really do have a feel of open house about them. I have certainly seen friends being invited to weddings by people who have been invited by the couple, despite having no connection with the couple/family at all. Essentially, they might know a couple of other invitees, have makhan, chit-chat and then go...

2) Agreed about the potential for social showing-off. I've just realised that ironically the largest (by far) weddings I have been to in the west, have been Indian ones.

3) Agreed there too.

4) Haha... isn't it always thus. The wedding takes on a life of it's own, like an out of control beast. In our case we were happy with who we invited, and that was that. It my my mother who was boiling with distress at who we'd missed out though!

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Post by Wind In My Hair » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 6:55 pm

JR8 wrote:It could be because - IIRC - all the weddings I have been to in SG have been void-deck/community hall affairs. They really do have a feel of open house about them. I have certainly seen friends being invited to weddings by people who have been invited by the couple, despite having no connection with the couple/family at all. Essentially, they might know a couple of other invitees, have makhan, chit-chat and then go...
Then you have a limited perspective of Singaporean weddings, methinks. My guess is the weddings you attended were Malay weddings, which are exactly what you described.

Chinese weddings are in a hotel or restaurant, and you don't go unless invited (even your spouse doesn't go if not invited) since sitting arrangements are painstakingly planned and there are only 10 people per table so uninvited guests would cause mayhem. It's quite rude to gatecrash these weddings even if you personally knew the couple, let alone if you didn't know them.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 7:11 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
JR8 wrote:It could be because - IIRC - all the weddings I have been to in SG have been void-deck/community hall affairs. They really do have a feel of open house about them. I have certainly seen friends being invited to weddings by people who have been invited by the couple, despite having no connection with the couple/family at all. Essentially, they might know a couple of other invitees, have makhan, chit-chat and then go...
Then you have a limited perspective of Singaporean weddings, methinks. My guess is the weddings you attended were Malay weddings, which are exactly what you described.

Chinese weddings are in a hotel or restaurant, and you don't go unless invited (even your spouse doesn't go if not invited) since sitting arrangements are painstakingly planned and there are only 10 people per table so uninvited guests would cause mayhem. It's quite rude to gatecrash these weddings even if you personally knew the couple, let alone if you didn't know them.
Morning WIMH... yes mostly Malay weddings. But oso one Chinese one (which was in a restaurant as you suggest... long ago c.95, I have a vague recollection of it taking place in JB, and of there being gold-plated Motorola brick-phones on most tables!?)

Hmm, interesting what you say re: the seating plans, that makes sense (you get the 'show face' thing according to where you're seated at seated Malay weddings too - AND UK and US ones too). What is still a little unclear to me is, to what extent is the number invited a 'status game'?

p.s. re: my long one from yesterday. Maybe we drop the mega-sparring. It is fun, but I'm not sure this board quite has the host culture to handle it when it gets harder core. I'll try (as best I can) to limit myself to the odd snidey comment, unless you get really out of line :wink:

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Post by Wind In My Hair » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 7:41 pm

JR8 wrote:What is still a little unclear to me is, to what extent is the number invited a 'status game'?
Nothing to do with status, but obligation. The list usually starts small, then the bride and groom each remember someone on their side who would be offended if not invited, and once you invite that one you have to invite the entire gang so that's another few tables. And if we invite this one then we have to invite that one and the requisite gang... and so on and so forth.

In fact, exclusive weddings are more a sign of status than mega invite-the-whole-world ones. All the weddings I've attended among the higher societal strata have been exclusive affairs. 'Status' is conferred by the location of the banquet (eg St Regis, the Ritz, the Raffles) and not by the number attending.
JR8 wrote:p.s. re: my long one from yesterday. Maybe we drop the mega-sparring. It is fun, but I'm not sure this board quite has the host culture to handle it when it gets harder core. I'll try (as best I can) to limit myself to the odd snidey comment, unless you get really out of line :wink:
BFF eh? How nauseating! :lol:

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Post by Strong Eagle » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 7:47 pm

JR8 wrote:host culture
Host culture???

Image

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 8:10 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
JR8 wrote:What is still a little unclear to me is, to what extent is the number invited a 'status game'?
Nothing to do with status, but obligation. The list usually starts small, then the bride and groom each remember someone on their side who would be offended if not invited, and once you invite that one you have to invite the entire gang so that's another few tables. And if we invite this one then we have to invite that one and the requisite gang... and so on and so forth.

Oh yeah... I see how that can happen. Just, as I inferred, the biggest weddings I have been to in both the east and west have been Asian weddings. Maybe Asian people just know more people that western people do, or more likely they feel under deeper external obligations.

In fact, exclusive weddings are more a sign of status than mega invite-the-whole-world ones. All the weddings I've attended among the higher societal strata have been exclusive affairs. 'Status' is conferred by the location of the banquet (eg St Regis, the Ritz, the Raffles) and not by the number attending.

Issit? That's interesting! In fact that reminds me that several options we looked at had a 'minimum number of tables' requirement (say at least 100 pax). So they got ruled out immediately. I now have the warm glow of thinking our mini-wedding might have been perceived as high-end :)
In the end we had a perfect little do for 25-odd on the back-lawn of the Raffles. Canapes, beverages, 4 string quartet (family), photographer (family oso :) ). The officiator was Dr. Anamah Tan, a friend of my missus. She's a gutsy old bird, what a hoot!


BFF eh? How nauseating! :lol:
Sorry, you've lost me! Anyway, Tally Ho eh what!

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 8:13 pm

Yep, all the Chinese weddings in the restaurants, Malay in the open community space below the HDB blockhouses or community centers, but also one recently in the restaurant - looked very different from the Chinese though, Indian, one only so not a representative sample - IIRC, in some temple-attached facilities space. I must say I enjoy very much the Malay ones, the traditional outfits, the drummers etc. Chinese are to me too much Westernized, probably because for the guests like myself it is only a reception not the real wedding. The Indian wedding I attended was also very traditional.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 8:27 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
JR8 wrote:host culture
Host culture???

Image
Quite :wink:

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 15 Dec 2010 8:45 pm

x9200 wrote:Yep, all the Chinese weddings in the restaurants, Malay in the open community space below the HDB blockhouses or community centers, but also one recently in the restaurant - looked very different from the Chinese though, Indian, one only so not a representative sample - IIRC, in some temple-attached facilities space. I must say I enjoy very much the Malay ones, the traditional outfits, the drummers etc. Chinese are to me too much Westernized, probably because for the guests like myself it is only a reception not the real wedding. The Indian wedding I attended was also very traditional.

Yeah the drummers and the 'theatre' that goes with it is really cool! I've been the groom's attendant on two occasions (yeah, the guy with on stage with the fan lol. Both in KL, in hotels). Especially when they have the, er, 'dance troupe' that goes with the drumming with the fighting horses and so on!

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