|Families of Vietnamese women in the Republic of Korea have photographs taken for souvenirs during a trip to HCM City. — VNS Photo Hoang Tuyet.
HCM CITY (VNS)— She has experienced very difficult times, but 28-year-old Truong Thi Kim Loan considers herself lucky.
The hope of a more secure financial future for herself and her poor family prompted Bac Lieu native Loan, five years ago, to marry a 47-year-old man from the northeastern province of Gangwon-do in South Korea.
However, language and other cultural differences gave rise to many conflicts and the marriage was floundering.
However, Loan was helped by the Republic of Korean Women's Association and the Viet Nam Women's Union in her locality to solve the tensions between her husband and herself.
Understanding the difficulties involved in adjusting to life in the Republic of Korea, her husband and his parents as well as sisters encouraged her to learn Korean and guided her on adapting to living circumstances in their family.
"They are very kind to me," Loan says, adding, "I am lucky to receive love from my husband and his relatives."
Now, Loan is able to communicate in Korean with her husband and his relatives as well as their neighbours.
She has also found work with a food processing company in her locality.
Loan says that her neighbour, a Vietnamese woman, was not as lucky.
Tham of Tra Vinh Province was introduced to her husband by a marriage broker. Although she did not get any good information about her husband and his family, she agreed to marry him in the hope of providing financial assistance to her poor family.
Her husband took Tham to Gangwon-do Province after the marriage, but treated her like a servant.
She worked on the family's fields, but received no financial assistance from her husband's family. She also found that her husband was not of sound mental health.
Tham told Loan that she would run away from her husband and his family and seek better chances to improve her situation.
Loan no longer sees Tham and does not know what happened to the latter.
Nguyen Thi Thuy, 27, of Hau Giang Province is married to 46-year-old Lee Chong Hyun of ChungCheongbuk- Do Province. The couple have three children.
Thuy said it is very important that Vietnamese women give confidence to their Korean husbands and families by learning Korean language and understanding their customs and culture.
For his part, Hyun says that the wife should explain the difficulties she is having to the husband, and for both to sympathise with each other.
Twenty-five year old Thi My Tan of Kien Giang Province, who married 44-year-old Jang Jae Hoo of Chejudo Island, says she is satisfied with her life.
Vietnamese women should learn to accept their husband's financial situation, Tan says. They should not create financial pressures on their husband in the case his family is facing financial difficulties, she adds.
Tan's husband is not rich and "I have learnt to be satisfied with my husband and help him take care of the tangerine garden that is the main source of income for his family."
The Chosun llbo, South Korea's largest newspaper, recently reported that 1.7 per cent of 471,000 babies born in the country last year had Vietnamese mothers.
According to South Korea's Ministry of Public Administration and Security quoted by Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper, about 52,000 Vietnamese women have so far married Korean men.
Nineteen families of Vietnamese women in the Republic of Korea on December 5 started an eight-day trip to Viet Nam with assistance from Seoul-based Nonghyup Bank. Apart from assistance with overall expenses, each family receives US$500 in cash. To date, the bank has helped more than 1,300 Vietnamese brides in the Republic of Korea make such trips. — VNS