Connect with us

China Insight

“My Friend Only Gave Me 200 Yuan [30 US$]”: Chinese Wedding Money Gift Conundrum Sparks Debate

A woman asking for advice on a local forum about a friend who gave her less money for her wedding than she gave her friend has sparked huge debate on Chinese social media. The unequal gift giving issue has struck a sensitive chord with Chinese netizens.

Manya Koetse

Published

on

A woman asking for advice on a local forum about a friend who gave her less money for her wedding than she gave her friend has sparked huge debate on Chinese social media. The unequal gift giving issue has struck a sensitive chord with Chinese netizens.

“I gave 600 yuan [±90 US$] for my friend’s wedding, but my friend only gave me 200 yuan [±30 US$] when I got married.” It is an issue that triggered thousands of comments from Weibo netizens within a few hours after it was posted.

The text was originally posted on a Chongqing local forum, where a woman nicknamed ‘yoyo4444’ told how upset she was when she gave her friend 600 yuan [±90 US$] for her marriage, but only got 200 yuan [±30 US$] from her, and how she gave her 1000 yuan [148 US$] when her baby was born, but only received a fruit basket from that same friend when she had a baby herself.

“Am I thinking about this too much?” the woman asked: “Is it everyone’s own business how much they give?”

In China, it is tradition to give a ‘red envelope’ (红包 hóngbāo), a monetary gift, during big life events such as weddings or the baby’s One Month Party.

In weddings, the money is often used by the newlyweds (or their parents) to pay for the banquet bill.

“How do you feel about your friend giving you a lesser wedding gift than what you gave them?”

The issue was re-posted by various Chinese media accounts on Sina Weibo, with some posting a poll asking netizens: “How do you feel about your friend giving you a lesser wedding gift than what you gave them?”, with the following options:

A. This friend is not kind and honest.
B. Since it is a friend, it shouldn’t matter.
C. Perhaps it can be forgiven.
D. Hard to say.

At the time of writing, a staggering 64% of over 60.000 participants chose option A: if a friend would give them less money than they gave them, they would consider them not kind and not honest.

The issue received much attention on Chinese social media, where it struck a chord with many netizens who had experienced similar issues. “I just got married,” one netizen posted: “And I went through something similar. My friend got married 3 years earlier and I gave her 500 yuan [± 75 US$]. She only gave me 300 yuan [±45 US$] for mine.”

“It has nothing to do with how much money you earn.”

The majority of netizens feel that the exchange of monetary gifts between friends should be equal, no matter their individual financial capacity. “Proper behavior is based on reciprocity,” (“礼尚往来” lǐshàngwǎnglái) is what many netizens say.

Although there are some voices saying that people are not equal in how much they earn and that you cannot expect them to give you the same amount of money they give you, most commenters seem to agree that reciprocating a monetary gift of the same value or more is the right thing to do regardless of one’s financial situation: “If somebody gives you a certain amount, you give them the same amount back. It has nothing to do with how much money you earn. The gift you give is simply what the other person originally gave you.”

“Exchanging gifts is a sensitive issue – it involves expectations.”

On October 17, a journalist from Sina media contacted the original poster of the issue, named ‘Liu Han’ (pseudonym). She told the news site that she was 29 years old and that she was quite close to the friend, with whom she had shared a dorm room during college.

She also stated that the income of her friend was relatively high, and more or less the same as her own income. “I’ve given all of my former dorm mates who I am less close to 300 yuan [±45 US$] per person for their wedding. But she gave me 200 yuan [±30 US$] while I gave her 600 yuan [±90 US$]!”

When afterward her baby gift of 1000 yuan [148 US$] to her friend was returned with a fruit basket, she felt “disillusioned”, according to Sina.

Although Liu Han was planning to distance herself from her friend, she keeps on receiving phone calls and WeChat messages. “When it is about borrowing money, I have no problem with that, but exchanging gifts is a sensitive issue – it involves expectations.”

“The amount you give shows how much you value the relationship.”

According to Chinese sociologist Tan Gangqiang (谭刚强), there is more to ‘red envelope’ giving than just etiquette: “It also is a way of showing you care and wish someone well, and the amount you give shows how you value the relation.”

However, Tan also emphasizes: “You cannot determine the gift someone gives you in return (..), and its value depends on different things, and does not necessarily relate to how someone feels about your relationship. It is not a business transaction.”

“Aha, I see,” one netizen responds to the sociologist’s remarks: “It is clear that he is the ‘I-give-you-200-yuan’ type of person.”

“It’s easy,” another Weibo user remarks: “If you’re not in the financial position to give someone money as a return gift, then just do not spend the money they give you.”

– By Manya Koetse
Follow on Twitter or Like on Facebook

[rp4wp]

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

[showad block=1]

image_print

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

China Insight

From Hong Kong Protests to ‘Bright Future’ – The Top 3 Most Popular Posts on Weibo This Week

These are the most-read posts on Weibo this week.

Manya Koetse

Published

on

The three most-read posts on Weibo over the past week – an overview by What’s on Weibo.

The protests in Hong Kong have been dominating Chinese social media throughout August, and the past week has been no different. Two out of three most-read posts on Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media platforms, were about Hong Kong this week.

A wrap-up:

 

#1 Hundreds of Hong Kong Taxi’s Flying Chinese National Flag

Image shared by CCTV on their Weibo account.

While Hong Kong is gearing up for the 13th consecutive weekend of mass anti-government demonstrations, there are no signs of the protests fizzling out any time soon.

The Hong Kong protests started in March and April of this year against an extradition bill that would allow local authorities to detain and extradite people wanted in mainland China, and have intensified over the past weeks.

Although authorities in mainland China initially remained quiet on the topic, the Hong Kong demonstrations have been dominating the trending streams on China’s popular social media platforms for all of August.

Through videos, online posters, and slogans, Chinese state media have propagated a clear narrative on the situation in Hong Kong; namely that a group of “separatists” or “bandits” are to blame for the riots that aim to “damage public security” in Hong Kong and are “dividing the nation.”

News outlets such as People’s Daily and CCTV are sharing many stories that emphasize the One China principle and praise the Hong Kong police force. Those voices in Hong Kong speaking up for the police force and condemning protesters using violence have been amplified in Chinese media.

One story that became the number one trending post on Weibo this week is that of dozens of Hong Kong taxi drivers hanging the Chinese national flag from their cars (video).

On August 23, the taxi drivers reportedly formed a rally against violence at Tsim Sha Tsui, waving the flags and putting up signs saying “I love HK, I love China.”

The hashtag “500 Hong Kong Taxi’s Hanging up Chinese National Flags” (#香港500辆的士挂上国旗#), hosted by CCTV, attracted over 700 million views on Weibo. The CCTV post reporting on the event received over half a million likes and 47000 shares.

The commenters mostly praise the Hong Kong taxi drivers for “standing up for Hong Kong” and flying the Chinese flag.

In English-language media, it has mostly been Chinese state media reporting on the rally. Xinhua, Women of China, ECNS, and Global Times all reported on the August 23 peace rally.

CNN only shortly reported how “a number of taxis have been spotted driving around the city displaying Chinese flags — something that has not happened on this scale during previous protests” (link).

 

#2 ‘Bright Future’ Title Song for Upcoming Movie ‘The Moon Remembers All’

Over 266.000 Weibo users have been sharing a post by Chinese actor Li Xian (李现) on the title track for the new Chinese movie The Moon Remembers All or River on a Spring Night (Chinese title: 春江花月夜).

The upcoming movie itself is a very popular topic on Weibo recently, attracting 430 million views on its hashtag page alone. The movie just finished shooting and will be released in 2020.

The song titled “Bright Future” (前程似锦) is sung by Taiwanese singer Chen Linong (陈立农) and Li Xian, who are both the leading actors in the fantasy movie. The song was released on August 29.

The Moon Remembers All is produced by Edko Films and directed by Song Haolin (宋灏霖), also known for Mr. Zhu’s Summer (2017) and Fatal Love (2016).

 

#3 Interview with Hong Kong Pro-Beijing LegCo Member Junius Ho

The third most popular Weibo post of this week comes from Xia Kedao (侠客岛), a popular commentator account for the People’s Daily Overseas Edition, and concerns a live broadcasted interview with Hong Kong lawmaker and Legislative Council (LegCo) member Junius Kwan-yiu Ho.

Junius Ho (何君尧) is known as being ‘pro-Beijing’ and stirred controversy earlier this summer when a viral video showed him shaking hands with men wearing white T-shirts who allegedly were linked to the mob attacking people at the Yuen Long MTR station on July 21.

Xia Kedao describes Junius Ho as a “straightforward” politician who “speaks out for justice” and denounces “reactionaries.”

In the August 28 interview, that was live-streamed on Sina Weibo and later also written up, the Hong Kong legislator discussed the background of the protests.

Ho argues that the people with “ulterior motives” used the extradition bill for their own power struggle, distorting and exaggerating the facts behind the regulation.

The politician also partly links the protests to a “weak national consciousness” in Hong Kong due to its education curriculum and says that there have not been enough legal consequences for those participating in illegal activities and riots.

Thousands of commenters on Weibo write that they appreciate Ho for speaking out against the “pro-independence riot youth” and praise him for his “deep understanding” of mainland China.

By now, Junius Ho, who is also active on Weibo with his own account, has gathered more than half a million fans on his page.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

image_print
Continue Reading

China Insight

Exchange Student to Be Deported from China for Harassing Young Woman at University

An exchange student studying at the Hebei University of Engineering has been expelled and will soon be deported after harassing a female student.

Manya Koetse

Published

on

An exchange student from Pakistan who was studying at the Hebei University of Engineering (河北工程大学) has been expelled and detained after harassing a female student at the same university.

The incident, that is attracting much attention on Chinese social media this week, adds to the wave of recent controversies over the behavior and status of overseas students in mainland China.

On July 31, a female student at the Hebei university filed a police report against a Pakistani student who allegedly harassed her and attempted to forcefully kiss her and touch her breasts.

Screenshots of a supposed WeChat conversation between the exchange student and the female student, in which the man apologizes and claims the interaction is a “requirement for friendship,” are being shared on social media.

According to various reports, the police initially tried to mediate between the two students, which the female student refused.

Together with the school principal, the police then further investigated the case and found ample evidence of harassment after examining the university’s surveillance system.

On August 1st, the Hebei University of Engineering announced that they had expelled the student and that he will be deported from China. The announcement received more than 14,000 reactions and 150,000 ‘likes’ on Weibo.

The student is now detained at the local Public Security Bureau and is awaiting his deportation.

A photo of two officers together with a man in front of the detention center in Handan is circulating on social media in relation to this incident.

At time of writing, the hashtag page “Exchange Student to Be Deported after Molesting Female Student” (#留学生猥亵女学生将被遣送出境#) has been viewed over 310 million times on Weibo.

Among thousands of reactions, there are many who praise the Hebei university for supporting the female student after she reported the exchange student to the police.

“This may not be the best university, but at least they stand behind their students!”, some say, with others calling the university “awesome.”

Many say that the Hebei university should serve as an example for other Chinese universities to follow, with Shandong University being specifically mentioned by Weibo users.

Shandong University was widely criticized earlier this summer for its “buddy exchange program,” which was accused of being a way to arrange Chinese “girlfriends” for male foreign students.

Another incident that is mentioned in relation to this trending story is that of an exchange student who displayed aggressive behavior towards a Chinese police officer in July of this year. The student was not punished for his actions, which sparked anger on Chinese social media.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

image_print
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Support What’s on Weibo

If you enjoy What’s on Weibo and support the way we report the latest trends in China, you could consider becoming a What's on Weibo patron:
Donate

Facebook

Instagram

Advertisement

Contribute

Got any tips? Suggestions? Or want to become a contributor? Email us as at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Popular Reads