As BNN TV from Holland visits Bangkok to investigate Thai women seeking foreign marriage partners, new research and a poll on Thai women marrying Dutch men has emerged.
The TLL (ThaiLoveLines) poll shows that 55% of Thai women seeking Dutch partners or husbands used Thai dating
sites whereas 35% met their partners indirectly through friends or introductions. The TLL poll also
shows that Thai women in Holland are satisfied with their relationships and showed that 68% of them were officially married to Dutch men. In the TLL survey a large proportion of
Thai women married to Dutch men were
also shown to have jobs (61%).
A recent study into Thai wives in Holland by a Thai PhD student in Holland confirms these findings and also shows that Thai women there face challenges in their adopted
country (Holland) and the weight
of financial expectations from families in Thailand. A key facet of the findings was that Thai women with marriage partners in Holland maintained financial links with their extended
family in Thailand. There are now well
over 10,000 Thai women from Thailand who are living in Holland, most of them married to Dutch men. The study by Panitee Suksomboon, a PhD student at Leiden University
shows that many Thai wives in Holland
send regular financial remittances home to Thailand.
'For Thai families, many are proud to have daughter married to a man from Holland,' one Thai woman told a ThaiLoveLines researcher. The other study into Thai women in
Holland conducted by the student doing a
PhD course at Leiden University focuses on the tension caused within marriages between Thai women and Dutch men caused by obligations taken on by Thai wives after they move with their husbands to Holland. M/s
Suksomboon cites as an example one Thai woman returning with her Dutch husband to her family in North Eastern Thailand. The Thai woman and her Dutch husband then took
her extended family there on a holiday to
Pattaya and paid all expenses for the entire party. This Thai woman and her husband spent nearly $15,000
on her trip home to Thailand, $5,000 of which was a debt taken out with a Thai moneylender in Holland by the
Thai wife who also worked in Holland.
The study highlights the high expectations of families in Thailand of their new son-in laws and suggests that many Thai families fantasize about the wealth and affluence of the
Dutch man who has married into the
family. M/s Suksomboon's research shows that many Thai women in Holland explain to their Dutch husbands the importance of 'face' in Thai culture and often pay back the
money advanced by their husbands to the
Thai family. The expectation that the Dutch son in law should pay for all outings of the family while holidaying in Thailand was examined in the study. The study emphasizes the
pressures faced by Thai women while
working in Holland, taking care of their Dutch family in addition to obligations to the extended family on Thailand.
This study also spotlights the tendency of a typical Thai woman to marry up. It bluntly states that many Thai women
now regard marriage to a foreign man as preferable. M/s Suksomboon suggests that women in Thai
society often marry a man who is both socially and financially well off. She also underlines the fact that marriage to Dutch men offers Thai women better economic prospects. A
2006 study by the Thai government's
National Cultural Commission Office reveals that there is now a startling preference among Thai parents to have a foreign son in law. There are growing concerns that this is
leading to an unfair perception of Thai men
as less reliable, financially irresponsible and more likely to use alcohol or gambling. One of the key factors feeding this perception is traditional Thai culture and a Thai definition of Love which supposedly allows Thai men to take mistresses or
second wives. It has to be said that this perception is unfair and that many younger Thai men particularly those with higher levels of education are very progressive and the
economic success of some sectors within the
Thai economy illustrates this.
The change in culture that is being brought about is particularly stark among Thai women marrying Dutch men as
Dutch culture fosters a strong work ethic leading to a higher standard of living. This has induced a
very positive image of Dutch men among Thai women and their extended families. Many sociologists now point to the
cultural and political changes being brought about the growing number of interracial marriages
around the world and this is particular so in Thailand. The picture of a successful Thai woman married to Dutch men arriving home for an extended holiday with cash to spend
reinforces the perception among younger
Thai women in poorer communities in Thailand that marriage to a man in Holland is a positive step towards a better life both for herself and her extended family.
The findings differ slightly with a poll conducting by ThaiLoveLines and interviews with Thai women in April 2011. This research showed that 35% of Thai women married to
Dutch men sent money home on a
monthly basis while over 51% said they had sent money home to family in Thailand in the last year.
The following were key findings:
- Thai women said that they had encountered some discrimination in Holland but over 85% said they were very happy with their marriages to Dutch men.
- 52% said they sent money home at sometime in the last 12 months while only 35% said they send money on a regular basis.
- 55% said that they had meet their Dutch husbands through Thai dating sites like ThaiLoveLines wile 37% said they
had met their Dutch partners through introductions or meetings in Thailand
The growing number of Thai women marrying Dutch men and the apparent success of their relationships is the key finding. In fact it can be seen from this research that there
is particularly dynamic between Thai
women and Dutch men which fosters economic success