Korean husbands are good option for foreign brides
Despite the fact that Korea has undergone tremendous changes in recent years and is still changing – globalization and the export of goods to other countries, as well as the influx of migrants representing cheap labor and students wishing to learn more about this country, its monoculture is still very firmly preserved not only externally, but also internally, in the minds of the Koreans themselves. Considering all these moments, it became interesting to reveal a little the theme of international marriages in South Korea.
I want to note right away that according to the latest statistics the first place in mixed marriages with the representatives of Korea is headed by China, which is not surprising. Given how quickly and swiftly the Chinese conquer the market, Korea has also not remained beyond their assimilation. Number of marriages where Korean man is married to Chinese woman is several times higher than couples where husbands are Chinese and wives are South Korean women. Very often, relations are registered with representatives of East Asia, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Often, marriages are made with ethnic Koreans coming from these countries and particularly China.
Initially, in 1991, the policy of maintaining international marriages was aimed at overcoming the situation which was in rural areas where the country’s agricultural complex is concentrated. At that time brides were mainly brought from other countries of Southeast Asia. Such marriages were made between not at all young and fresh women representatives of Southeast Asia and Korean men who simply needed to get married. Those are mostly males engaged in fishing, agriculture or forestry. If you look at the statistics on Korean rural development then it turns out that out of all total number of marriages there were 27.4% ~ 41.4% international marriages. However, recently, since the 2000s there has been a trend that the number of old bachelors becomes smaller due to the fact that people in search of a better life seek to move from rural areas to the city.
It is interesting to note that there are more common marriages where a husband is a South Korean and he has a foreign wife, rather than vice versa. And in such pairs it often happens that a man is older than his wife by age. Therefore, there is still an opinion in society that the old bachelors unable to find a bride in their homeland “buy” wives from countries where the social standard of living is lower than in Korea itself. As for me, everything in this situation is clear – Korean woman would marry foreigner if his income is the same as income of average Korean man or higher; Korea is highly developed country and women from poor Asian countries choose Korean husband to live in prosperity, because what is average income for Korean is “very rich” in Vietnam, for example. Read also: How I started dating a girl from South Korea
In such marriages, no matter how trite it might sound, the age difference becomes a big problem. When a 50-year-old man having married a 20-year-old girl he, naturally, dies earlier leaving his by that time already 40-45-year-old wife with a 10-15-year-old child. A woman accustomed to living under the wing of her husband remains alone and usually not very wealthy and is in despair. In addition she has no education; has not proper knowledge of Korean language, is experiencing difficulties in finding a job and adapting to an independent life.
As a rule, it is much more difficult to find suitable single women of a more mature 30-40 year-old age. Therefore, there were cases when 50-year-old bachelors married widows with children and transported them to Korea. But that was before. Now, of course, the age of bachelors has declined to 34-36-year-old age and such cases when 50-year-old «old men» has the 20-year-old girl for the wife are a rarity.
Popular for Korean men are Vietnamese marriage agencies – those are services they use to find a wife from poor countries. If you briefly describe the process of registering a marriage through the Vietnam agency it looks as follows. Day 1 -Departure from Korea. Day 2 – observing candidates. Meeting with the parents of the chosen bride. Day 3 – Checking the bride’s mental state, age, health. Day 4 – registration of marriage. Wedding ceremony. Day 5 – Honeymoon. Day 6 – Return to Korea with his new wife. In fact, the costs that are spent on marriages through agencies are much greater than it seems. Based on the data presented on various Korean sites, the average marriage in Vietnam varies from $ 10,000 to $ 20,000, in the Philippines from $ 13,000 to $ 20,000 and in Uzbekistan the amount is about $ 20,000. But if you consider that this amount includes a flight, per diem for accommodation and meals, the ceremony itself, the price for the bride, then it turns out that everything goes even cheaper than holding a wedding in Korea alone. It should also be taken into account that the amount includes not only what is paid to the bride’s family as a ransom, but also includes the percentage of the marriage agency. As a rule, it works here not only Korean agency focused on the search for a groom but also a local agency that offers brides.
Usually there are three matchmakers, each of which performs its function, according to seniority. So, the first finds and “interests” the girl. Then she passes her to the second matchmaker, who checks her, tests her, collects information and approves. Well, the last instance is under the control of the “Chief Matchmaker”, which completes the whole process. Thus, without these “matchmakers” the agency’s work on international marriages is simply impossible.
Often, the sites of marriage agencies are lured with photos of charming girls, which can not be torn off. But you need to understand that this is just bait and in reality you can see absolutely other pretenders. One of the extreme examples is the use of photographs of Korean models in entertainment centers and on flyers. By the way, Koreans have a lot of different reality shows and talk shows where the fate of foreign bride is described precisely.
It is interesting to note the fact that usually local agencies make every effort to make the potential groom to see as many applicants as possible. In Vietnam, for example, girls wait for 7-8 hours just to see the groom. Therefore, even if the future husband made his choice he is asked to see all the brides. Well, it is hard to send the waiting for hours girl home without even showing her to the groom.
Girls who undergo “bride watching”, “belong” not to the agency, but to the matchmaker. As a rule, such matchmakers cooperate not with one agency and have their own “database”. Therefore, if the girl was not able to marry this time she may have a chance with the next groom. This is already an established business and girls often come from very distant cities and outbacks in search of their prince. Therefore, agencies are trying to get a better and more profitable attachment for them while earning a good income.
As for marriages of Koreans with representatives of Eastern Europe the situation here is somewhat different and not only because the culture is fundamentally different, but the inquiries of girls are higher and whether there is a reason to make such investments if the risks are so high. Many Koreans still dream of fair-haired beauties, so often they can be heard from them that they would leave everything in order to get a Ukrainian or Russian wife. But for the most part it’s just talk, because these beauties often prefer Europeans, rather than Asians, which is often confirmed by statistics.
Every year there are more and more international couples and they become active – many are active in social networks, various Korean talk shows and programs. Most intercultural couples are blogging, having YouTube channels, where they openly share their experiences, telling about how they got to Korea, how they live and give useful advice on various household and psychological issues.
For a long time the program 미녀 들의 수다 (Global Talk Show) was very popular in Korea. This is a show with girls from different countries who came to Korea for various reasons. Many of them stayed for permanent living in Korea and got married. Each of the beauties has its own level of Korean language, its own destiny, and its history of how she got here. The purpose of the show is to tell what foreigners think about particular situation traditions or even institutions in Korea. As each of the girls represents their country, she shares her experience, revealing how she would react to a topic in her homeland, what she likes and what does not, shares the mentality and characteristics of her country. Also on this show famous singers or actors are invited, who are also actively involved in the discussions. Everything goes in a very casual, humorous and unobtrusive manner. After this show many of the girls gained great popularity and they began to be invited to other programs as leading.
No matter how the individual part of society resist Korea will never be the same again. After decades, this nation can no longer call itself a mono-nation and there is nothing wrong with that. The correct approach is that the Korean media are now using is gradually and smoothly changing the consciousness of this still conservative but rapidly changing and interesting society. Read also: How real Korean beauties look like