Even in a disaster no one wants the vegan food. pic.twitter.com/KtswW7GLSI
— Shannon Hillis (@hillisthekillis) September 1, 2017
Well, who can blame them? 🙂
An interesting story at BBC’s Magazine:
There’s a shortage of women in the Faroe Islands. So local men are increasingly seeking wives from further afield – Thailand and the Philippines in particular.
There are now more than 300 women from Thailand and Philippines living in the Faroes. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but in a population of just 50,000 people they now make up the largest ethnic minority in these 18 islands, located between Norway and Iceland.
In recent years the Faroes have experienced population decline, with young people leaving, often in search of education, and not returning. Women have proved more likely to settle abroad. As a result, according to Prime Minister Axel Johannesen, the Faroes have a “gender deficit” with approximately 2,000 fewer women than men.
This, in turn, has lead Faroese men to look beyond the islands for romance. Many, though not all, of the Asian women met their husbands online, some through commercial dating websites. Others have made connections through social media networks or existing Asian-Faroese couples.
For the new arrivals, the culture shock can be dramatic.
“When our son Jacob was a baby, I was at home all day with no-one to talk to,” she says.
“The other villagers are older people and mostly don’t speak English. People our age were out at work and there were no children for Jacob to play with. I was really alone. When you stay at home here, you really stay at home. I can say I was depressed. But I knew it would be like that for two or three years.”
Then, when Jacob started kindergarten, she began working in catering and met other Thai women.
“That was important because it gave me a network. And it gave me a taste of home again.”
Krongrak Jokladal felt isolated at first, too, when she arrived from Thailand. Her husband Trondur is a sailor and works away from home for several months at a time.
She started her own Thai massage salon in the centre of Torshavn. “You can’t work regular hours with a baby, and although my parents-in-law help out with childcare, running the business myself means I can choose my hours,” she says.
It’s a far cry from Krongrak’s previous job as head of an accountancy division in Thai local government.
Thai massage salon? Hmmm…
Kristjan Arnason recalls the effort his Thai wife Bunlom, who arrived in the Faroes in 2002, put into learning the language.
“After a long day at work she would sit reading the English-Faeroese dictionary,” he says. “She was extraordinarily dedicated.”
“I was lucky,” Bunlom adds. “I told Kristjan that if I was moving here he had to find me a job. And he did, and I was working with Faeroese people in a hotel so I had to learn how to talk to them.”
So, these Asian brides them yellow-fever men sought are manifestly NOT becoming homemakers, but are working outside the home… Not so traditional, then…
But Antonette Egholm, originally from the Philippines, hasn’t encountered any anti-immigrant sentiment. I met her and her husband as they moved into a new flat in Torshavn.
“People here are friendly, she explains, “and I’ve never experienced any negative reactions to my being a foreigner. I lived in metro Manila and there we worried about traffic and pollution and crime. Here we don’t need to worry about locking the house, and things like healthcare and education are free. At home we have to pay. And here you can just call spontaneously at someone’s house, it’s not formal. For me, it feels like the Philippines in that way.”
“We actually need fresh blood here,” he adds, “I like seeing so many children now who have mixed parentage. Our gene pool is very restricted, and it’s got to be a good thing that we welcome outsiders who can have families.”
He acknowledges that he’s had occasional ribbing from some male friends who jokingly ask if he pressed “enter” on his computer to order a wife. But he denies he and Antonette have encountered any serious prejudice as a result of their relationship.
Well, isn’t that what he did? Got himself an email-order bride? Why wouldn’t he get teased thus?
“Look,” she says, as we step into the garden overlooking the fjord. “Jacob plays next to the beach. He is surrounded by hills covered in sheep and exposed to nature. And his grandparents live just up the road. There is no pollution and no crime. Not many kids have that these days. This could be the last paradise on earth.”
Easy to see the appeal of an isolated first world land to the Thai and Filipina newcomers; easy to see the appeal of any women, particularly mostly apparently grateful ones, to lonely local men with decreased options since their own women have left them, no doubt seeking more alpha men abroad (and work, not being traditionalist).
But while currently only 0.6% of the population, that’s sure to grow.
And no doubt, for good and/or ill, they will change the Faroe Islands.
As with Thomas Kinkade, over at Happolati’s Miscellany recently, I noted the recent passing of Wiebo Ludwig, and am doing a longer, follow-up post here. As a Reformed believer who has lived in both Ontario and Alberta, I have a strong interest in the enigma that was Wiebo Ludwig.
Wiebo Ludwig was a complex character. He had fled with his family to Alberta from Ontario, to start a new life in the wilderness, off-the-grid in more ways than one – economic and energy and food self-sufficiency, as much as possible, but also to separate physically from the greater society at large, to keep themselves more morally pure; kinda like Anabaptists. Dutch Reformed types have historical precedent for doing this sort of thing; the early 19th-century founding of ‘De Colonie’ near what is now Grand Rapids, Michigan, was very much the same sort of thing; they fled from across the sea to a then-still-wilderness part of America, in order to freely practice their religion, and live according to the values they held to, where they felt they could not back in the Netherlands. Ludwig had felt his denomination had gone too much the way of the world, and wanted to separate out from them. (I myself belong to a denomination which broke away from the same one the Ludwigs left, so I have much sympathy.)
So Wiebo attempted a secession from society; like Noah, separating out himself and his extended family, going off on their own, to do their own thing. But the rest of the world wasn’t destroyed by flood; on the contrary, it encroached on him and his family, what with poisoning of their land from sour gas leaks on oil company property next to their farms. Sadly, the Ludwigs couldn’t even stop drilling under their property if they wished to, because in Alberta, property-owners only have ‘surface rights’, just a short distance underground, close to the surface; they don’t actually own all the land under their property. Oil companies rule Alberta, and can drill where they please, with the government’s blessing, since they bring in jobs and wealth to Alberta, doncha know.
Sour gas caused the Ludwigs to experience miscarriages in both the people in their compound, and their livestock; as well as deformities; health problems of all kinds…
And so, Wiebo Ludwig felt his back was against the wall, and like David, had to take on Goliath, i.e. the oil companies.
And so, he did. Creating lots of enemies, but also winning unexpected allies; environmentalist leftists who otherwise wouldn’t have much time for a patriarchical, traditionalist Calvinist separatist-community-leader.
Pipe bombs exploded; oil company equipment was damaged. Locals came to hate him, since the oil industry is the main source of most people’s livelihoods in that part of Alberta.
Then came the unfortunate Karman Willis incident; a buncha idiot teenagers went joyriding onto the compound late one night. Shots were fired, and a teenage girl ended up dead. The white-knighting, pedestalizing, overly-chivalrous outraged locals wanted the Ludwigs run out of town on a rail, if they’d had their druthers. But nothing was proven, no charges were laid. IMO, the stupid teens had no-one to blame but themselves. Not a good idea to ride onto the property of people who legitimately have reason to feel targeted – even if their tactics were part of the reason – in the middle of the night. Sometimes, dumbass teens who do dumbass teen things have to pay with their lives. Oh well.
Things quieted down after that, but Ludwig kept up his struggle against the oil companies.
Was he right to act as he did? Was he wrong? I don’t know. I sympathize greatly, though. And am inclined to agree, that sometimes, one has to do, what one feels one has to do.
Ludwig was interviewed recently, when he knew his days were coming to an end; that interview is here.
R.I.P., Brother Ludwig.
I recommend highly Andrew Nikiforuk’s Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil; an excellent book; gives much background into Ludwig’s past, and formational life experiences, including here in Ontario.
I also recommend the 2011 National Film Board of Canada documentary Wiebo’s War; like the book, lays out the whole story, but takes you inside the Trickle Creek compound, to let you meet the rest of the family, too. Well done; surprisingly rivetting, for a documentary – and fairly balanced, also surprisingly.
*Update: Andrew Nikiforuk, who wrote the book mentioned above, wrote an obituary for Wiebo Ludwig, here.
**Update: BTW, they’re still there…
When I was a kid, I went through the Boy Scouts movement, from Beavers, to Cubs, to Scouts.
The Boy Scout motto was ‘Be prepared’, which is always solid advice.
In a private convo amongst Patriactionaries, 7man highlighted (and doesn’t mind me sharing) the following two CGI animated vids which people have made using XtraNormal (gotta love that), discussing the value of preparedness. Now, I freely admit that I don’t know a lot about economics, and I tend to be more like the characters on the right-hand side of the frame in each of these at the start of the clips, but at the same time, I do think one does well to consider taking steps to safeguard oneself and one’s family in the event of a civilizational collapse, as the ones on the left-hand side recommend, eventually winning over the other two… As both characters come to agree in the first vid, I don’t think that faith in God precludes being prudent, and thus taking steps to prepare for the worst of calamities… (We are called to love Him with all our mind, as well as all our heart, soul, and strength, after all.) As they discuss, there is much Biblical precedent for such an approach.