Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Foreign brides

One in four babies in Taiwan is born to a foreign mother.  It's not that 1/4 of the wives in Taiwan are foreign, but the foreign wives tend to have more babies. 

A lot of the foreign wives are women from China or Macau or somewhere that they speak Chinese and look Chinese, but a lot are from Vietnam, the Philippines, or Indonesia.  (and, um, 2 in the whole country are from the US.)  Some of them came to work and then married a guy (including 2 Filipino sisters in my congregation); but some get married to Taiwanese men who come looking for a bride.  Here's an article about that- it's crazy stuff.  The men in this article pay $6000 US (a ton of money anywhere but really a ton here) to go to Vietnam and pick out a wife.

The thing that's kind of funny is that the Taiwanese men in this article said they seek foreign brides because Taiwanese women are too demanding- ie, the want to wait until they're in their 20s to get married, and have a comfortable home.  The nerve!  (Jasmine says that most Taiwanese girls won't marry farmers so I guess it works both ways).  This is exactly the reason so many Western guys come here and date and often marry Taiwanese girls- they are not so demanding as Western girls.  It's weird that being able to fluently speak the same language just isn't important to a lot of these men.  Anyways, the men in the poor Vietnamese villages are stuck without women. 

I guess it has its good points- the women in this article come from poor places in Vietnam and can send money home to their families.  This women seem happy but I've seen some really unhappy foreign brides.  Part of the unhappiness comes from living with extended families and the fact that Taiwanese mothers-in-law are pretty famous for criticizing their daughters-in-law to death, whether they're Taiwanese or ride, kids, etc 020

Here is a picture of a happy foreign bride- she is from the Philippines and her husband is Taiwanese, and this is their cute baby!  They go to my congregation.It's tbike ride, kids, etc 018radition for new moms and babies to stay inside for a month after baby is born.  Her in-laws are vegetarians so we took turns making meat for her on occasion.  This was my day- a random dish of beef, black beans, and peppers over rice.

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