Daughters & Dowries

Recently I passed a milestone in the life of a father; I walked the younger of my two daughters down the aisle. As the day approached, I played up the stereotype of the father of the bride, bemoaning the expense of the wedding to friends at work, despite her remaining well within budget. One coworker told me that in India the bride’s family still pays a dowry which can be pretty large. I was told, although the practice is illegal, the families circumvent the law by calling it a gift. The entire discussion, however, reminded me of 15th century Florence’s Monte delle doti, the dowry fund.