Occidentalism
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Matchmaker marriage ends in suicide

August 11th, 2006 . by Matt

matchmaking
A Korean man choosing a wife from among 11 Vietnamese women

According to Thanhnien news, a matchmaker arranged international marriage between a 44 year old Korean man and a 21 year old Vietnamese woman has ended in suicide after 7 months.

A Vietnamese woman who was married to a Korean committed suicide by drinking pesticide Monday in the Republic of Korea’s Kyeongchu province.

The local police think that Nguyen Thi L, 21, from Vietnam’s southern An Giang province might have committed suicide because her husband’s family had forbidden her from sending money back home.

L married a 44 year old Korean through a marriage bureau before migrating to Korea in February.

If a 21 year old woman was willing to marry a 44 year old man, then it was probably for the money that she could earn in Korea to send back to her undoubtably poor family. The article says that the the Vietnamese bride was ‘forbidden’ by her husbands family to send money back to Vietnam, but I am wondering if in this case forbidden means ‘physically prevented’ and kept prisoner at home. If someone is willing to die by drinking poison to escape a situation, then it should be investigated. Since she committed suicide by drinking pesticide, then I think it is a good guess that her husband was a farmer, and anything can happen on an isolated farm.

Interestingly, there was no mention of an investigation in the article, but I hope the Korean police will investigate this in good faith.


5 Responses to “Matchmaker marriage ends in suicide”

  1. comment number 1 by: Darin

    I think another tip-off that he was a farmer is the fact that he got married through arrange marriage in itself. People in the cities don’t have a need for, and sorry if I offend anyone by saying this, a “mail order bride” because they can see more in their future then getting up early and cleaning house, cooking and making babies. Heck even the men want to get out of the farms but the oldest son usually gets stuck.

    Let’s just say it was on an isolated farm, how much money could she possibly earn on her own? Probably none because her husband certainly isn’t going to continue to pay her after he’s already ‘purchased’ her, and there are probably not any businesses in the area. If the money she wanted to send was not her own, but that of her husband or husband’s family, then I don’t think the parents were too out of line to say she can’t send it away.

    But clearly any marriage that ends in suicide is not a good one, and in the case of a man from a higher-financial-status marrying a women from a lower-financial-status through and arranged marriage where the man picks the one he wants and the women goes to whatever man she was selected by is a marriage for money and probably wasn’t destined to go to well from the beginning.

  2. comment number 2 by: lirelou

    The only reason any Vietnamese women enters into aan arranged marriage is to better her families income. My wife has several nieces married to Taiwanese. All have families and better living conditions, and all send money home. Interestingly enough, the taxi driver who is 20 years older than his wife sends back much more than the two married to younger Taiwanese farmers, but even those are relatively happy. I have met and talked with other Vietnamese girls married to Taiwanese, and not all have had happy experiences, but all feel that they are better off for it. Taiwanese culture, however, is far more familiar to the average Vietnamese than is Korean culture, despite the confucian similarities. The few Vietnamese wives I have met in Korea who married Koreans back in the war all suffered through some very hard times once they arrived in Korea. For all Korea’s advantages, it can only be a lonely and desolate place to any Vietnamese woman. At the rist of being labelled a racist, I’ll state that Vietnamese (women in particular) are like termites. Not only are they workaholics, but if you take them out of contact with other Vietnamese, something inside them shrivels up and dies. For women raised in traditional Vietnamese villages, contact with other Vietnamese is absolutely essential to their mental balance. The suicide described is very easy for me to understand, moreso if the groom’s family cut off her ability to send money home to her family.

    For what its worth, the photo looks staged. Vietnamese homes generally have chairs and tables that the guests sit at. The women would be standing around the room. The girls look more like Vietnamese resident in Korea. And not a single Ao-dai in sight. Of course, there are many Vietnamese women in Korea who would be willing to enter into an arranged marriage here if it would guarantee their right to remain.

  3. comment number 3 by: Matt

    For what its worth, the photo looks staged. Vietnamese homes generally have chairs and tables that the guests sit at. The women would be standing around the room. The girls look more like Vietnamese resident in Korea. And not a single Ao-dai in sight. Of course, there are many Vietnamese women in Korea who would be willing to enter into an arranged marriage here if it would guarantee their right to remain.

    I cannot attest to the reality or unreality of the photo – I found it in the Choson Ilbo. It is supposed to be a matchmaking agency.

  4. comment number 4 by: Sonagi

    Regarding the happier experiences of Lirelou’s in-laws married to Taiwanese men, if Taiwanese attitudes towards interracial and international marriages is like mainlanders’, then a Vietnamese bride would be much more readily accepted into a Taiwanese home than a Korean one. The foreign women I knew who were happily married to Korean men – one even lived with her in-laws – all acknowledged that their husbands and parents-in-law were atypical.

  5. comment number 5 by: matchmaking.1matchmaking

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