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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ENGAGEMENT RING

IF A BOY GIVES YOU AN ENGAGEMENT RING ON A SPECIAL DAY LIKE YOUR
BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS, EASTER, ETC., IT CAN BE REGARDED AS A GIFT
AND NEED NOT BE RETURNED. YOU MUST RETURN IT IF HE GIVES IT TO
YOU ON AN ORDINARY DAY.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS INFORMATION FROM MY GIRL FRIEND, MARGIE SMITH,
ABOUT 1960.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement ring
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Fixed DateFor specific dates, use the following system:
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Movable Date
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Season
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Palm Sunday

Date learned: 05-12-1965

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SYMBOL OF ENGAGEMENT

"RING" WHEN A PERSON (USUALLY MALE) GIVES A GIRL A
RING IT SHOWS THAT SHE IS HIS GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement ring

Date learned: 04-00-1971

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COURTING CUSTOM: ENGAGEMENT RINGS

WHEN IT IS UNDERSTOOD BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN THAT THEY ARE
TO BE MARRIED, A BINDING SYMBOL IS USUALLY GIVEN BY THE MAN TO
THE WOMAN. THE SYMBOL USED MOST OFTEN IS A RING WORN ON THE LEFT
HAND. THIS IS CALLED AN ENGAGEMENT TO BE MARRIED. HENCE, THE
NAME OF THIS RING IS OFTEN CALLED THE 'ENGAGEMENT RING.'

Submitter comment: INFORMANT KNOWS THIS BECAUSE HE'S ENGAGED. HE LEARNED THIS WAS THE
PROPER COURTSHIP CUSTOM BEFORE MARRIAGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement ring

Date learned: 10-20-1971

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GOING STEADY

THIS IS A COURTSHIP CUSTOM THAT HAS TAKEN PLACE FOR CENTURIES.
IT'S NOW CUSTOMARY FOR THE MALE TO GIVE THE FEMALE AN ENGAGEMENT
RING, IN WHICH THE NEXT STEP WOULD BE MARRIAGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement ring

Date learned: 04-00-1971

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MARRIAGE

A HUNGARIAN CUSTOM, THE ENGAGEMENT RING IS WORN ON THE FOURTH
FINGER OF THE LEFT HAND; BUT AFTER MARRIAGE, THE RING IS TRANSFERRED
TO THE RIGHT HAND, FOURTH FINGER.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT, LOUIS L. SZEP, LEARNED THIS CUSTOM FROM HIS PARENTS
AS A CHILD IN HUNGARY. ALTHOUGH HE LEFT HUNGARY 27 YEARS AGO, HE
OBSERVES THIS PRACTICE TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement ring

Date learned: 12-31-1963

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IN A CEREMONY OF ENGAGEMENT, PARENTS OF THE BRIDE AND
GROOM WILL TRY TO PUT A GOLD RING ON THE LEFT INDEX
FINGER OF THE BRIDE AND SHE WILL SHOW SOME KIND OF
RESISTANCE TO THIS. THE THOUGHT BEHIND THIS IS THAT
THE RING WILL CONFINE THE THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIOR OF
THE BRIDE.

Submitter comment: DON'T KNOW. INFORMANT LEARNED THIS IN TAIWAN DURING
HIS CHILDHOOD YEARS.

James Callow comment: IF SHE RESISTS, WILL HE PUT IT ON ANOTHER FINGER?
IS HER RESISTANCE RITUALISTIC ONLY?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; TAIWAN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement ring

Date learned: 02-12-1971

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showing 6 items

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