When it comes to Si Dian Jin, The most important thing that grooms ask is “Must we have it?”
This is a difficult question to answer. Before we begin, let us understand what is Si Dian Jin. By direct translation, Si Dian Jin means 4 items of gold (not four “points” of gold).
Components of Si Dian Jin
This refers to a Necklace, a Ring, a Bangle, and a pair of earings. Traditionally, these items are made of yellow gold and the traditional design is the Long Feng (Dragon and Pheonix) design. Nowadays though, most brides will not want to be seen in big chunky yellow gold, so many couples have replaced it with white gold, and at a cheaper price too (provided you don’t add diamonds).
Origin of Si Dian Jin
Si Dian Jin is supposed to be given by the mother in law to the bride, and is to be presented during the Guo Da Li. This is a Teochew tradition. Somehow, we Singaporeans like to rojak all the traditions from all the dialect groups together so many non-Teochews also have the Si Dian Jin.
The origins of this customs stems from the times where houses in Teochew province have 4 curved rooftops that looked like the word “Jin” (Think shape of umbrella). When the mother in law gives her daughter in law Si Dian Jin, it is meant to tell the girl that she will always have a roof (or rather 4 roofs) over her head.
Si Dian Jin in Singapore
This Si Dian Jin is a very touchy issue in Singapore. As you know, Singaporean girls and therefore Singaporean brides are “Modern” women. This sort of marks the beginning of a power struggle between the Mother in law and bride (grooms beware, this is when it first starts). First they have to agree if they even want the Si Dian Jin. Some mother in law want to give but the bride thinks it’s a waste of money (give me cash instead!). Others are unhappy that the mother in law does not want to give Si Dian Jin. And while many will eventually decide on getting a set, the choosing then becomes the main struggle. Will the mother in law get to choose an old fashion design (which they will claim it’s very nice and modern), or will the bride get to choose her own (with as many diamonds as possible)? Or if you are really really really, and i mean really lucky, that the 2 ladies will go shopping for one together, smiling, talking like friends and finding one that they both like (Congrats to being one of the few man who has the 1 percent chance your mum and wife will get along).
At the end of the day, the main role for you grooms, is to make sure this beautiful custom can be carried out, in the happiest (and peaceful) manner possible. Good luck. 🙂