Saturday, April 25, 2009

18 year age difference on average between Khmer brides and Korean men in Yeongnam

In today's JoongAng Daily of Korea is an article called "Harry Potter and the Trophy Wife". I found this bit interesting:

It is hard to find such an example [of leaders and their trophy wives] in Korea, but social leaders who marry trophy wives are not rare in other Asian countries such as China and Japan.

This is probably because of the social atmosphere that demands moral dignity together with material success.

However, it is a different story when it comes to wives from Southeast Asia. According to a report on current international marriages in the agricultural region of Yeongnam at the end of 2007, the average age difference between brides and grooms was 12 years.

It was 18 years when the bride was from Vietnam or Cambodia.
This is within the "20" policy Taiwan has for foreign brides: The age difference between spouses should be less than 20 years and brides also must be at least 20 years old.

In Phnom Penh, I met two Cambodian women at a shop selling used rice sacks who were both married to Taiwanese men. One left the man because of gambling problems, she said, taking her daughter with her. The other one was here on a visit to see her family and she enjoys living in Taiwan. They both spoke fluent Mandarin which was how we communicated. It seems on average, Taiwanese men spend USD $10,000 on these marriages, but only USD $500 to USD $1,000 goes to the bride's family. Brokers keep the bulk of it. This information from Wikipedia's Mail-Order Bride , which also has some curious statistics published by the Swiss:

In 1999, the divorce rate for domestic marriages (Swiss married to Swiss) in Switzerland were at a record high of 50%. In the same year (1999):

- Divorce rate between Swiss and German or Italian women: 40% .
- Divorce rate between Swiss and Brazilian or Thai women: 30%
- Divorce rate between Swiss and Columbian women: 20%
- Divorce rate between Swiss and women from the Dominican Republic: 60%
- Divorce rate between Swiss and Philippine women: 45%.
"It can thus be concluded that the chance of survival of marriages to mail-order-brides does depend heavily on the bride's country of origin. Also, income and age difference play an important role. It could be statistically shown that the probability of a divorce declines 20% if the husband earned an income of more than 50,000 USD per year, and that the probability of a divorce increases if the age difference between groom and bride exceeds 15 years."
A young Cambodian woman I know who just returned from visiting her grandmother in Australia and wants to live there is considering paying USD50,000 to an Australian man for a fake marriage. I asked her what if the Australian government finds out? "Oh, they will make me leave the country."

The financial crisis is hitting Asian brides and some, though not all, brokers are slashing prices:
"However, unlike his rivals at Vietnam Brides International, Janson said he has no plans to lower his fees. "I'm providing true virgins checked by Singapore doctors, so I can't cut my price," he explained. (Apparently, this is important because the more unscrupulous agencies get fake ‘virginity' certificates from dodgy Vietnamese doctors)

A quick look at his website does appear to show that Janson's services (he specialises in "beautiful virgin Vietnamese brides") are a lot cheaper than his rivals. He is currently offering an all-inclusive ‘bride selection tour' to Vietnam from just S$388 (USD260.5)."
The writer, from London's The Telegraph, had an amusing conclusion:
"But as countries such as Vietnam get richer, the number of women willing to be sold into marriages will decline. So, if the UK does slide into an extended Japan-style slump and economic power continues to shift to Asia, I wonder if 10 or 20 years down the line, it will be British women coming to Singapore, Beijing or even Hanoi to find a rich Asian husband."

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