Western marriage proposals

There is one thing I don’t understand (I guess because of my culture) – the fuss about marriage proposals in the west.  I always wonder why it has to be a big spectacle.  Why don’t people just involve their loved ones if they want to, instead of doing it during half time at football matches, and other such places, with huge rings?  I am not bashing this culture, but I would just like to understand why the pomp around engagements.

In today’s Zambia, an engagement generally goes like this:

  • A couple date
  • The guy pops the question
  • The woman agrees
  • The guy’s family visits the woman’s family to ask for her hand from her family
  • The family agrees
  • The guy gives a small token, usually a bit of money, as a sign of commitment.  I guess this may be equated to an engagement ring (?).

Only at this stage is the couple considered engaged.  However, nowadays the guy may pop the question after this to the woman and give her a ring.  I know one guy who asked for the second time at an upscale restaurant and the people around cheered.  This is just to be romantic as they are already engaged.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tiny
    Aug 06, 2018 @ 17:35:05

    I believe the proposals in my (northern) culture are more like in Zambia. I don’t “get” the pomp and circumstance so prevalent here in the US.


  2. Mags
    Aug 05, 2018 @ 06:24:00

    To me they are much more meaningful and special done in private.


  3. heidi ruckriegel
    Aug 03, 2018 @ 12:00:53

    I have to admit I don’t like this making a big thing of it in public, either. It puts a huge amount of pressure on the person being asked (mostly the woman). What if she would rather not? What is she supposed to do then? Better to ask quietly, in private!


  4. Henry Joe Sakala
    Aug 03, 2018 @ 07:49:13

    Oh but in Zambia we are also doing the big spectacle engagements these days. Proposals are done in restaurants… one guy did it at Levy mall but the girl turned him down…. We’ll soon have one done in Levy stadium at the rate we are going.


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