Not all wedding proposals are the same – each country and culture has their own way of doing them. These customs draw heavily on the past culture of the region, familial values or current trends, but they’re fascinating to examine all the same.
While most proposals are generally done the same way at different locations around the world, these countries have followed traditions in joining hands for marriage as old as their culture itself. If your significant other happens to be from the following countries, it might be best to pay attention to the following list!
Japan is a country of ceremony and respect – and this extends to their proposals. Despite the proposal itself not having too much fanfare, a couple isn’t officially engaged until a yunio (what they call a Japanese engagement ceremony) happens, in which nine symbolic gifts wrapped in rice paper are exchanged between the couple’s families. These gifts symbolise a great many things, including the birth of children, wealth, and marital harmony.
The French have a practical approach to weddings – while a man will typically propose to a woman, no ring is actually presented at the time. Aside from getting their partner’s consent, a man would also need to woo the parent/s of their partner (traditionally their future father in law) and only after getting their approval is a ring even brought up. The now-engaged couple usually goes and shops for their engagement or proposal rings together.
On the other hand, proposals in Ghana are usually very quick and straightforward – some of them usually propose a week before the wedding ceremony itself! The groom typically knocks on the door of the bride’s family house to announce their intentions for marriage, in which the ceremony can be officially conducted after receiving their blessing.
Scotland’s fathers will accept nothing less than someone who will work hard for their daughters – which is where the tradition of Speerin and/or Beukin comes from. Similar to the Greek myth of the Labours of Hercules, the father of the bride would traditionally demand the groom go through a series of challenges and tasks before being allowed to marry their daughter, ranging from physical work to proving their worth as a good husband.
The Greeks place great emphasis on the relationship of the couple before joining them in marriage – which is why after the groom asks the bride’s father for permission to marry their daughter, they couple will usually be put through a series of marriage counseling sessions to prepare them for married life. If the counselor (typically a priest) approves of their union, that’s when the engagement party begins!
While these traditions may vary from place to place, all of them are indicative of the love that exists between two people and the people around them. And while some of these traditions have nothing to do with romance, there’s still an element of love and pride for the couple that goes through them successfully together – an indication of how the rest of their married lives will go.