'Bride Schools' Prep Women for Mail-Order Marriages
Government-supported Vietnamese classes teach women Korean language, customs
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2014 2:03 PM CDT
Couples from around the world arrive for their mass wedding ceremony in Gapyeong, South Korea, Feb. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – You don’t necessarily have to speak the same language as your husband to be a mail-order bride in South Korea—just the language of love. Unfortunately, many of the marriages arranged that way there don’t handle Cupid’s vernacular well, either, so the South Korean government is cracking down on the process by imposing regulations and setting up "bride schools" in Vietnam, reports the Washington Post. These schools offer one- or three-day courses that teach blushing brides-to-be everything from how to speak Korean to subway etiquette to how much they should kowtow to their mothers-in-law.

South Korea has been trying to get a handle on marriages to foreigners and prevent bad ones, according to the Post. Support for multicultural families has become a government priority, and in February the Justice Ministry announced female candidates for a "resident-by-marriage" visa have to start proving they can speak Korean and show they can take care of themselves financially, according to the Wall Street Journal. Because language and cultural issues appear to be the cause of many marital issues in these cases, the government-supported bride schools were set up, says the Journal. Even students who attend the schools, however, may not be fully on board. "My family is very poor, and I try to be obedient," one woman featured in the Post article says. "But I’m not very comfortable with the idea." (Read the full story in the Washington Post of what happened to one couple who married after the wife attended bride school.)

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Jul 21, 2014 6:49 AM CDT
I'm wondering how, as part of a "1 or 3 day course", they manage to teach them to speak Korean? And that's just part of it! Rosetta Stone, eat your heart out!
Jul 21, 2014 6:46 AM CDT
A Vietnamese bride and a South Korean groom? Yeah, that'll work (sarc). Do they not understand? Vietnam is one of the few Asian cultures where the woman is the head of the family, not the man. Traditional Vietnamese society is matriarchal.
Jul 20, 2014 8:02 PM CDT
What about sex? Will we be able to buy skilled women for our money?