On the day of their second wedding anniversary, celebrated with a trip to the cinema, the couple describes the endless mishaps that arise because of their different backgrounds.Take the time when Alex raised his eyebrows in reaction to an amusing story told by his mother-in-law.Such misunderstandings can be common in relationships where individuals have differing upbringings, expectations and social scripts.
It was incessant, and that was fairly overwhelming.” But with a little patience and understanding, Samean was able to explain that it’s part of her culture for women to marry young and quickly.
In March 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a prakas stating that all foreign men who wished to marry a Cambodian woman must have a monthly income of more than ,500 and be aged below 50 years.
The move, according to a government statement, was to “avoid the undesirable consequences of human trafficking.” In addition, there is a complex legal process to navigate that includes announcing your intention to marry, posting it at the bride and groom’s home, and receiving a marriage certificate from a commune chief, plus conforming to any additional laws of a foreigner’s home country.
Despite being aware that her daughter was dating an Englishman, Moni’s mother expressed concern when the couple, who met on a boat trip, announced their engagement.
Having heard stories of Western men leaving their Cambodian wives high and dry, she worried that Moni was wasting her time.
“If I was living at home it might be a different story,” says Kan, who moved from Siem Reap to the capital three years ago, glancing shyly at her partner.