Tribune 423 14.04.2019 17:14:30

Why does Korea need an "Uzbek bride"?

Why does Korea need an "Uzbek bride"?

Most South Korean villages are empty due to demographic problems in the country. Since the need for labor in cities is high, those, who were born in the villages, prefer to stay in the city. This issue has not been removed from the government's agenda for the past 30 years. Local authorities have launched a financial support system for Korean men to attract brides from abroad.

35 administrative bodies specializing in agriculture and fish farming in the Republic of Korea have legalized the allocation of funds for assistance for men, who wish to marry foreign nationals. For example, a citizen who is willing to marry a foreign woman can get financial aid in the amount from $3,600 till $ 12,000 US Dollars. For example, Yangpeng District of Gyeonggi province allocates $8,500 dollars to attract a foreign bride for men aged from 35 to 55 years employed in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, previously unmarried and residing in the region for the last 3 years. This practice was legislated in 2009. As on present, more than 570 multicultural families have been registered in the region.

A natural question arises: "Why a foreign bride?"

Since 1980, population of the Republic of Korea has stopped in its growth. This social phenomenon coincided with the period of "Industrial Revolution" that occurred in the country. The market economy and financial difficulties also affected family relations. Families have chosen to cut costs rather that planning the number of their children. The number of children per a mother in the country has fallen up to 1,2 kid.

By 1990, life in South Korean cities became more comfortable, and rural residents rushed to the cities chasing a good life. As a result, twenty years later, existence of demographic imbalance in the regions had been recognized.

According to the teachings of Confucius, procurement of the land left to a man after his parents is a must-to-do, a duty. Korean men strictly adhere to this custom. For this reason, they are not that eager to shift to a city. Due to the lack of women, it has become common for men to marry late or remain single. And women leave villages in the hope of a good life.

The policy of «importing" of foreign brides is aimed at increment of population in the regions, providing labor market with employment. The diligence of the candidate who will become a bride to the village is especially appreciated.
Finances aimed at creating an international matrimony, cover the cost of air travel, hotel accommodation and Agency services. Selected grooms arrive in the "country of the bride» to meet future bride. Brides from South-East Asia are becoming increasingly popular. Especially Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Philippines and Cambodia are the leaders in this ranking of "countries-suppliers of brides".

Why "Uzbek brides" are highly valued?

According to the survey conducted in 2017 by the Ministry of Family Affairs and Gender Equality, marriage to a bride from Uzbekistan is comparatively costly for Korean men. To do same, they need around 18.3 million won, that is almost $16 thousand US Dollars. Subsequent positions are hosted by Philippines (15.2 million won), Cambodia (14.4 million won), Vietnam (14.2 million won) and China (10.7 million von).

Many Koreans believe that Uzbek girls do not give chances to their "rivals" with their beauty and upbringing.  Personally, I have also reiteratively witnessed how Koreans admire the beauty of Uzbek girls. Also, Uzbek girls are strong and not afraid of work; they love children and are ideally engaged in children's parenting. If we consider the positive side – it is too much.

The main part of the cost of Uzbek brides – kalym (dowry). In most cases, around 10 000 dollars are spent as kalym for the Uzbek bride. However, no one can guarantee that they will have a Royal life in South Korea.

The reverse side of the medal

73% of foreign brides are from Vietnam. Another interesting statistics: if the average age of the bride is 25.2 years, the age of the Korean groom is 43.6 years. The age difference is 18.4 years.

"Such marriages are based on financial gain and benefit, rather than on love or mutual relations. Common problem caused by the "purchase" of the bride is the language barrier. In addition, attitude of men towards brides, who came from abroad, as a property provokes cases of human rights violations. In particular, such foreign women often act as a domestic worker or sexual object" said Zhang Han-up, Director of Institute for Multicultural Family Studies.

According to a survey, conducted by the National Commission of South Korea on Protection of Human Rights, among 920 foreign brides, 42.1% of them were subjected to domestic violence, 68 % - to sexual violence against their will.

Shuhrat Sattorov, South Korea