Faroe Islanders “Importing” Wives from ThailandBy: Mike Fossum - October 23, 2013
The remote Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic have seen a dip in population, as well as a stark imbalance between male and female populations, so some Faroese men have been “importing” wives from Thailand and the Philippines.
The Faroe Islands are an island group and archipelago under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The total area of the remote land is approximately 540 square miles.
The islands have been a self-governing country within the Danish Realm since 1948, and have taken control over most domestic matters over the years. Still, like with most protectorates, Denmark handles military defense, policing, justice, currency and foreign affairs.
Here’s a small travel documentary in the Faroe islands:
As of now, the total population of the Faroes is roughly 48,500, and there are 2000 less females than males. A falling birth rate is threatening the archipelago’s future, and many young Faroese women leave the islands to go to school in cities like Oslo, Copenhagen and London – and about half never return. if the present situation doesn’t change, Hermann Oskarsson, the former chief economic adviser of the Faroes, projects that by 2023, the population could fall to 37,000
So, some Faroese men have been “importing” women from the Philippines and Thailand to become their wives. These groups make up the largest foreign population on the islands, at roughly 200. This number has doubled since 2006, and while the wife importation theory makes for a good story, no one can be exactly sure why there’s been an increase in the Asian population.
Bjarni Ziska Dahl, a teacher and shepherd, married his wife, Cherelle, a Filipina woman, in 2010. Cherelle calls Bjarn “a good man. Yeah. He’s just simple.” Bjarni’s brother Heini, and some of their friends also married Filipinas. Interestingly, Cherelle and Bjarni said that Filipinos and Faroese have common cultural values with their close family ties and living everyday life simply, despite their respective homelands being so far apart.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.