June 25, 2014

Katie's Promise

Woo hoo!  My fourth book Katie's Promise is finally finished.  It has all the elements, you, my loyal readers, have come to love:  a strong girl who overcomes great adversity, adventure, history and medicine. As yet unpublished, here is a brief synopsis of the story:

While most girls her age are at home learning how to cook and sew, twelve-year-old Katie Klien is learning how to sneak on and off trains, hide in dark alleys and creep through underground tunnels.   Katie is determined to keep the promise she made to her ma: that she will make sure her brothers and sisters are safe and loved.  But how?  She doesn't know where they are. It’s 1898.  With their pa in prison and their ma deathly ill, the six Klien children are lined up on the steps of the county courthouse and given away.  Katie must live in a strict, loveless household. When she finds out that her older brother has died under mysterious circumstances and her little brother and sister are in an orphanage, Katie knows she must act.  Using all of her wits and the help of a shy boy, Katie bolts. For in order to keep her promise, she must not only find the children, she must steal them away.

June 4, 2014

What is the Difference Between a Bride Price and a Dowry?

Chinese bride courtesy of Wiki Commons
The terms bride price and dowry are often confused.  Bride price is actually the opposite of dowry.  Here's how it works:  A bride price (or bride wealth or bride token)  is paid by the groom to the bride's parents or family at the time of the marriage.   A dowry is money or property brought into the marriage by the bride.  The dowry is usually provided by the bride's parents. There's also a dower which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom.

In the Western world, both practices have largely been abandoned except in the case of a uniquely American system of dowry practiced by the wealthy (See my post (click here) ).  However, in some countries bride price or dowry are still is use today. Some countries practice both.  Bride price is common in rural China, many other Asian countries, parts of Africa and some Pacific Island societies.  Dowries are common for marriages in India and Pakistan.

References and additional reading:
http://www.jasonstaples.com/sociology/dowry-and-bride-price-are-not-the-same-thing/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bride_price
http://econ.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2013/05/pdf_paper_siwan-anderson-economics-dowry-brideprice.pdf