A farmer-poet, in his column in the Catholic Times, was invited to give a talk to a group of women involved in social work. He started by asking them a number of questions: Are your parents important to you or their property? Is your husband important to you or his job? He asked them to put their hands on their hearts, and after serious thought give honest answers to themselves.
looked at their faces
intently and thought they were having a hard time deciding. He then
asked another series of questions. Would they exchange their children
for all the money in the banks of the country? No matter how lacking in
talent or the trouble their children caused, they said they would not
exchange them for
money. However, when he asked if they would exchange their
husbands for money, it was then that a smile came
to the faces of the women. One women said that she would have
difficulty giving up her child but the husband would not be so
difficult. With that answer everybody broke out in laughter. The poet
said that he
did not find it a laughing matter. To him it seems that we are willing
to exchange anything and everything for money.
He then asked another question. Let us suppose, he said, that you
were again a young women and ready to marry, would you be willing to go
to the country and marry a poor farmer? Would you be willing to marry a young, single farmer who was kind, honest
and devoted? He asked those who would be willing to raise their hands. Of
the 100 or so women present no one raised their hands.
farmer was not able to laugh. If there had been one person willing to
marry that farmer, he said he probably would have managed to laugh. On
his way home that evening he
reflected on whether our journey was for life or for death. Isn't the
journey in life, for most of us, a journey in search of money and
comfort? he asked himself.
fact is that the young men on the farms are not finding it easy to
find Korean girls who are willing to spend their lives on the
farms. Women are well educated and are able to find lucrative jobs in
the city. Spending their lives on the farms is not an
attractive option for many of the young women of today.
rules require that foreign brides have to have basic Korean
language skills to obtain a resident visa. This will make the
possibility of finding foreign brides for farmers much harder. In 2012,
20,637 of Korean men married to foreign women 6,586 were
Vietnamese; the second most popular brides, after the Chinese.
It is well-known that the inability to communicate was the primary
reason for the divorces and violence in the
home. Recent attempts to remedy the situation will no doubt help, but without helping very much the many farmers of today
who are looking for brides to live the difficult country life.