Want to marry a farang? Check out Denmark’s Faroe Islands

Antonette and Regin Egholm on vacation in Amsterdam. Photo: Antonette Sales Egholm/Facebook
Antonette and Regin Egholm on vacation in Amsterdam. Photo: Antonette Sales Egholm/Facebook

The Faroe Islands, a small string of islands between Iceland and Norway, have a shortage of women and the men living there are beginning to seek out wives from Thailand.

For Thai girls interested in pairing up with a farang, it sounds promising but the cold islands that endure winter for half the year aren’t the easiest place for tropical brides. The weather is often cold and wet. In the summer, a warm day is 16 degrees Celsius.

Recently, BBC caught up with a few such brides and reported on their experiences moving from Thailand and the Philippines to the Faroe Islands.

Photo: Faroe Islands/Facebook

One Thai bride, Athaya Slaetalid, recalled sitting next to a heater nonstop and feeling lonely and depressed when she arrived in the islands six years ago. She met her husband when he was helping to start a business in Thailand though most Southeast Asian brides in the Faroes met their partners on dating sites such as Thai Cupid.

Athaya now works in the restaurant business, has a son, and has settled into island life. Once her son started school, she began meeting other Thai moms with similar experiences to her own.

Another Thai woman, Krongrak Jokladal, married a Faroese sailor, Trondur, and also felt lonely, since her husband is often away at sea. She now also has a child and owns her own Thai massage parlor in the islands. She used to be an accountant for the Thai government.

Trondur and  Krongrak Joekladal with their son in the Faroe Islands.

One stumbling block for Asian brides is that, while many people can speak English, the local language is a form of Old Norse. To truly get local, one must learn the language. Thankfully, the government, very receptive to foreign wives, offers free language courses — as well as free education and healthcare to all citizens.

Three hundred Thai and Filipina women live in the islands, which boast a population of only 50,000 people. The number sounds low, but Southeast Asian women now are the largest minority on the island.

The food is also difficult for some incoming Thai brides. They have to change from spicy somtam, grilled fish, and chicken to a diet of bland, fatty meals such as whale meat, blubber, and fermented mutton.

Filipina bride Antonette Egholm likes life in the chilly islands, finds the people friendly, and loves that she doesn’t need to worry about crime or even lock the door to her home. After a life in crime-ridden Manila, it’s a dream.

Her husband Regin said that he has been teased by some of his Farsoe guy friends, who ask if he ordered his pretty wife online. But it’s all in good fun.

 

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