Empty Fields, Lonely Hearts, Desperate Brides

The exodus of people, particularly youth and women, from rural to urban areas has left male farmers in South Korea loveless. Entrepreneurs have stepped in to fill the gap.

Posters on the lampposts in Yangbuk declare: “Get a new life – marry a Vietnamese lady! You can pay later!”

A thoughtful article in today’s Financial Times points to the hardships of women who come to Korea this way. The article ends with this quote:

While Ms Tran seems to accept her new life, Mr Jang, who flits between temporary agricultural or building jobs, is not so happy. “It’s quite a burden to send money to Vietnam because I don’t earn much,” he says.

But it is the relationship between his wife and his mother that causes him the most headaches. “My mother speaks very fast and gets angry when my wife can’t understand her. My mother once yelled at my wife to go home to Vietnam and my wife cried a lot.”

“Now I’m opposed to international marriage,” he says in front of his wife, who is distracting herself with an imaginary spot on the floor. “If I get married again I won’t go to Vietnam, I’ll look for a bride in Korea.”

Read more here.