In a world with no women

26May09

A peculiar story we heard of late is that a bunch of aggrieved parents in a village in Hai Phong province gathered outside the local people’s committee to protest as their sons can’t get married, not for love nor money.

How is this the fault of anyone else other than the moping bachelors?

Well, in this town — and I’ve heard of and blogged about other towns where there’s been a mass exodus of young women in rural Vietnam — nearly 700 women out of a population of 2,500 people had gone abroad to get married (these marriages are, I should point out, facilitated by “marriage brokers” to help lonely souls in China, Taiwan and Korea find a wife). As all the nubile young lovelies go to a kingdom far, far away, more and more local men are obviously in danger of being left on the shelf. Hence the panicked parents.

Most of the locals are sailors and frequently fishing offshore and everytime they come back to do some courting there are less women around. Plus, apparently, the remaining girls aren’t even interested in the fishermen anymore, or at least their parents aren’t, as marrying a foreigner is seen as possible express train to Richville whereas the local fishermen will bring a more humdrum, paltry income to the table.

According to an article on Vietnam.net (Tiếng Việt only) 15-year old girls in the area were even leaving school to learn how to cook for marrying foreigners in the future. But now — in this town at least — the parents of unmarried bachelors have had enough and are petitioning the local people’s committee with a request that local women shouldn’t be allowed to go abroad to get married.

Couple this cultural phenomenon with the prevalence of selective abortion and a lottta lotta men in the countryside are staring down the barrel of some long, lonely nights in the near future. There’s also an article in the Thanh Nien today about how this phenomenon has created an industry that’s riddled with con artists duping women out of money.

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