Most Singaporeans and Malaysians are familiar with the custom of a married couple giving ang pao to anyone who is not yet married.
It is also common for children to give to their parents once they’re married or have started working. In recent years, the custom has become a little more ambiguous, as some unmarried people who have started work began to give ang paos.
Confused over whether you can give ang pao or not, even if you’re not married (though I don’t know what you’re thinking)? Here, take a look at a video we’ve done on ang paos and you’d have a better idea:
But here’s one new interesting thing many people have found out in recent years: do you, if you’re a husband, need to give an ang pao to your wife? Or perhaps give an ang pao to your girlfriend?
People on the Internet were fervently discussing this since 65daigou (now known as ezbuy) posted this “useful” graph in 2016.
So, is the “wife” thingy true? Since many couples are reading this, here’s what we’ve found out from the mother of all information: Google.
We tried going through the results and even pored through Mandarin websites from China and Taiwan. The goal was to confirm that husbands need to give ang paos to their wives—we also asked married couples on their custom.
Do Husband Need to Give His Wife an Ang Pao?
There were some interesting nuggets of information we uncovered: one might not need to give ang paos to someone who is of the same level (e.g. siblings, cousins or anyone who is about the same age), one can start giving ang paos once they start working and one’s ang pao market rate is determined primarily based on his or her income.
But after going through many websites and asking around, there was no mention of husbands giving ang paos to wives. When we say no, we meant a zero result—even after changing the keywords in our Google search.
Now, to make this even a more “reliable” source, we turn to the married and attached people in the office. All of them express shock when I asked them about it: they didn’t even know there’s such a culture.
So, here’s the good news for husbands: giving ang paos to wives might not be a common custom after all. And the bad news for wives: you’ve got to save up to buy that latest bag you’ve been eyeing for some time.
CC: All girlfriends and wives.
BCC: All boyfriends and boyfriends.