Indeed there was quite a backlash from women in Norway some time ago when a Norwegian politician publicly stated
that he thought Thai women took better care of their husbands and family. A recent TV programme on Norwegian TV saw
feminist groups suggesting that Norwegian law gives Norwegian men power of their Thai wives when they arrive in
Norway. The new law allows for the deportation of Thai women in Norway in certain situations where their marriage
to their Norwegian husband fails.
Norwegian men speaking to ThaiLoveLines have rejected the programmes concerns pointing to his their own marriages
and then fact that growing numbers of Norwegian men are becoming interested in find wives in Thailand. 'If there
was a problem, men would not be travelling there. Most Norwegian men are fair people,' says Rune who met his Thai wife Pim in Khon Khaen, Thailand two years ago
after meeting her on the internet through a Thai Dating site. Rune: 'Pim and I, we are happy, we have our own house,
no money problems and I respect her, this is the story with many Norwegian men with a Thai wife. My friends do not
treat her badly; many ask her about Thai women and life in Thailand and want to know how to find a Thai woman
Rune's wife Pim is 32 years, 6 years younger than him. She is equally adamant that the story of Thai women in
Norway is more a positive one than a negative one. Pim: 'I am Thai woman, not a child. I am happy to live in Norway
with my husband.'
The TV programme comes at a time when a government report in Finland concluded that well over 90% of marriages
between Thai women and men from Finland were happy ones. Finnish women's groups had called for an investigation into
the high levels of Thai women opting to live at home as housewives. An outcry over Thai women working in massage
parlours in Finland also contributed to calls for an investigation. A report by a Thai University student into Thai women living in
Germany also highlighted the vulnerability of Thai women immigrating to a colder western country. In all these
situations, however, the reports went to great lengths to point out that the vast majority of relationships between
Thai women and western men were enduring ones.
The growth of Thai women travelling to Norway now means that Thai and Filipina women are the largest group of non
western immigrants in Norway. Norway, with its oil wealth, has now become one of the richest countries in the world
and a magnet for immigrants.
However, the developing economy in Norway has brought more women in Norway into the Norwegian workplace and the
roles of men and women have altered from previous generations. Some men in Norway see Thai women as 'more feminine,' more 'old fashioned' and therefore better
marriage partners. Many Thai women coming to Norway have very successfully integrated themselves into Norwegian
Thai Women in Norway and Oslo
Indeed there are many Thai women in Oslo and throughout Norway now using Thai Dating sites to meet boyfriends,
marriage partners or simply friends in Norway, Thailand or any other place in the world. Many younger Thai women
living in Oslo now lead a cosmopolitan life with careers and seek life partners online with Thai Dating Sites from Norway. At the same time, there have many shocking
stories of Thai women who have been abandoned by their partners after travelling to Norway and been forced to depend
on Norwegian social services.
The biggest challenges facing Thai women in Norway are:
- The cold - Many Thai women wear multiple layers of clothing in winter and summer periods.
- The negative reaction from some women in Norway and the Norwegian media.
- Many Thai women feel homesick in Norway where the weather and the culture are so different. This
is countered in time by the rising numbers of Thai women moving to Norway .
On July 2007 Thai Princess Somsawalee traveled to Norway to meet Thai women and to open the first Thai temple in Norway on the 100th anniversary of the
famous visit of King Chulalongkorn to Norway in 1907.
This highlights an important element of the story. We have seen from countries like Australia, the United States
and Canada that Thai women arriving in foreign countries as Thai Brides are
beginning to found active communities in these countries.
The Thai government has also now begun to provide support facilities for Thai women who marry foreign men abroad
through its embassies and consulates. One Thai university researcher suggests that the level of inward investment
into Thailand and future relationships abroad, could in the future, have a very positive effect not only on the Thai
economy but in the overall development of Thailand both economically, politically and culturally.