SINGAPORE: A topic was recently brought up on Reddit when a Singaporean man shared his hesitations about attending his colleague’s wedding due to the S$300 ang bao price.

“My colleague is holding his wedding at one of the most expensive hotels in Singapore. I checked online and found that the ang bao price is almost $300,” the man wrote. 

“Should I attend and give an amount that I am comfortable with (which means he will make a loss), or don’t attend but give a token of blessing?”

In the discussion thread, numerous Redditors told him that the answer would entirely depend on ‘how close he is with his colleague.’ 

They stated that if their relationship was ‘merely professional, or if he was someone he didn’t meet often,’ he could politely decline the invitation and send a token of blessing instead. 

They also pointed out that following this approach would be safer, as giving a monetary gift below the market rate could potentially strain their relationship.

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One Redditor suggested, “Just give him a card, a nice gift, say “congrats, bro but not able to make it,” and that’s it.”

Another commented, “Don’t go at all, just give a small ang bao afterwards, because if you go and give low ang bao rate, word WILL get around that you are stingy unfortunately.”

However, if he was close to his colleague, he could attend the wedding, disregard the ‘online rates’, and give whatever felt right to him.

One Redditor said, “If you are close to your colleague, then attend and give what you are comfortable with, even if it means he makes a loss. If you two are as close as you think, the colleague will understand.”

Another remarked, “Attend but give something you’re comfortable with. But at the same time, don’t give something like $20 because that (to me at least) is just not nice.”

What some Singaporean Redditors think of the ‘ang bao culture’

In addition to answering the Singaporean man’s question, several Redditors also took this opportunity to express how they felt about the ang bao culture.

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One Redditor stated that the tradition has “gotten so out of hand” and that anyone expecting guests to foot their wedding expenses should reconsider having a wedding or keep their spending within manageable limits.

They added, “It’s never just a “token of blessing” these days.

You would think a couple would want family and friends to attend because they’re important to them and want to share their special day with them, not because they want to cover their expenses.”

Another Redditor echoed this sentiment and said:

“Wedding reception is an invitation to celebrate, not an invitation to give money. If anyone gets angry over not getting enough money, then sorry to say it wasn’t a wedding reception, it was just a donation drive with extra steps.”

A third Redditor chimed in, saying, “Chinese weddings really have become like a business opportunity. I am not Chinese. I ever attended one where they actually collect the red packet and open and write the amount down in a book.”

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Read also: Couple: We want a simple wedding, but our parents insist on expensive traditional wedding. How?

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