Arnon Rodthong, 58, is a Thai multi-millionaire on a mission. He runs a successful durian fruit farm in Chumphon Province, southern Thailand, and has a large family. But the wealthy businessman, not content with conquering the fruit-selling market, has turned his sights towards his unmarried daughter: he is offering 10 million Thai baht (approx. US$316,000) and his entire estate to the future husband of his 26-year-old daughter, Karnsita.
Karnsita is not Rodthong’s only child. He also has sons, who would traditionally inherit the family business. But in a controversial move, Rodthong has decided that as soon as his daughter weds a good man, “I will give up all my assets to him.” Perhaps Rodthong’s loyalty lies with his daughter and her future prosperity as she helps him run the family business, speaks fluent English and Chinese, and has never had a boyfriend.
Rodthong owns property and land across the region and his durian farm is the biggest in the area.
It is not unusual for husbands-to-be to pay a dowry for their future wives in Thailand. But in this case, the moneyed fruit farmer has turned the tables, suggesting that he would waive the traditional dowry for the right man. And the right man could be almost anybody, it seems. Rodthong has not specified a nationality, just that the man should “work hard and make Karnsita happy.” Rodthong, a Buddhist and a self-confessed lover of gold amulets, is nonetheless fully prepared to part with his wealth to see his daughter married well.
There are some criteria, however. “I want someone to take care of my business and make it last,” Rodthong shared. “I don’t want a person with a bachelor’s, or master’s, or philosopher’s degree. I want a diligent man.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, since posting his bizarre monetary bargain on social media, the responses have been flooding in. What does Karnsita make of it all? Karnsita claims that she is overwhelmed by the whole affair, in no small part due to the fact that her father never told her about it: her friends noticed the post and informed her themselves. “I first found out about my father’s post when my friends showed me,” Karnsita revealed. But, mercifully, she continued: “I was surprised, but I can see the funny side to it, too.”
At the time of writing, Karnsita is still single. But what of her husband-to-be and her potentially prosperous future? Well, Karnsita has her own plans for her father’s money: she’d “like to use it herself for plastic surgery in Korea.” The good-natured 26-year-old shares some of her father’s family values, however. On the topic of her future husband, she clarified: “I only want him to be a diligent and good person who loves his family.”
To the entire Rodthong family, we wish you good luck with your thoroughly outlandish enterprise! May Karnsita find her man, and Rodthong the diligent, durian mogul he’s always dreamed of.
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