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Svetlana
41 y/o female
 
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43 y/o female
 
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32 y/o female
 
 

Causes and consequences of marriage emigration of women from Russia

In sober fact marriage emigration is of the same age as an ‘ordinary’ one. It is divided into 4 waves (or five if to take into account pre-revolutionary times). Herewith political and ideological factors always played an important role that social economical ones.
The first wave of marriage emigration, as it is easy to realize, falls at post-revolutionary years. A great number of Russian women appeared abroad. They hadn’t been married before and also lost their husbands in the course of the civil war or evacuation. It is interesting that a reverse movement outlined at the beginning of the 20ies. Emigrants from the USA, Canada, Australia, some European countries moved to the country of socialism which hadn’t still won. There were many young unmarried men among them. They went to the USSR not in marital purposes at all. Charmed by the Soviet experiment they moved to Russia with the intention to stay there forever and take an adequate part in building Paradise on the Earth. There were more than 20 000 of such idealists in the USA and Canada only.
The second wave of marriage emigration is connected with the movement of big population groups in the course (and in the result) of the Second World War. The majority of Russian brides contained Soviet (eastern) working women who were taken to Germany from the occupied territories of the USSR, and also women who were forcedly evacuated by Germans when they were departing. Many of them didn’t wish to come back to the USSR because of ideological reasons or because of fear to be punished for crimes made or invented. And a marriage with a foreigner was nearly the best chance of avoiding coming back to the USSR as well as finding a lodgment in new countries of residence.

A law prohibiting marriages with foreigners was cancelled in October 1953 (according to the other data – in October of the next, 1954 year). But repressions against those contracting marriages with foreigners, including socialistic ones, didn’t stop. At the same time ‘punishment’ was quick and the same. Women who had a romance with a foreigner were dismissed from work, there employment was prevented in all possible ways, and in a month they were sent to far regions of the country as drones.
Later, in the years of stagnation such repressions seized to be massive if not stopped at all. But for those wanting to contract an ‘international’ marriage all possible obstacles were made. Rules demanding a collection of a great number of formalized papers weren’t published anywhere. And many foreign fiancés as well as soviet brides were refused a marriage on the ground of nonobservance of all needed formalities.
At last, the fourth wave of women’s marriage emigration began after the fall of the ‘iron curtain’. Many researches call it an opportunistic or a market one. Really, during the years of rebuilding and the following times assistance for our compatriots, first of all female ones, in contracting international marriages quickly turned into a profitable business. Dating agencies started growing like mushrooms after rain. A total annual return of business connected with Russian brides reaches 4,5 billion dollars a year. And Russian brides themselves started to be positioned as goods which are much undervalued in their motherland and, on the contrary, overvalued abroad, at the first time, i.e. at the end of the 80-ies – at the beginning of the 90-ies of previous century.




The main reason for such an ‘overvaluation’ lays on the surface. It’s a demographic crisis in many countries of the West, and, first of all, in Europe. A fall of birth rate and at the same time rises of life span lead to aging and recess of number of indigenous population. Still in 2000 members of French National commission of aging problems of population in one of their reports stated that a ‘women’s genofond of the country doesn’t renovate and a single way out is an increase of emigration of young women able to give birth, mainly from Russia.’ Not less important reason of Russian brides’ popularity is a wide expansion of feministic ideas there. That’s why family-oriented Russian women in the eyes of western fiancés look much more attractive than native ones. More than 75 000 of our female compatriots moved to the USA by marriage visas. (More info read here)
At the same time the most ‘feminized’ of our female compatriots leave our country having contracted marriages with foreigners. Mainly their age is from 20 to 30 years old, they have a high education level and good career perspectives, from a theoretical point of view at least.
A situation is paradoxical at a first glance. ‘ Traditional wives’ are of great demand in the West and the most independent, educated women leave Russia when find a foreign husband. Many of them arrange their personal life successfully. Here is really no paradox. First, ‘a degree of feminism’ in Russia is much lower than in the West. Besides, having found themselves in a sociocultural environment that is sometimes strange to them, many women inevitably make the level of their demands and ambitions lower. At last, a social economic crisis in Russia itself became one of the reasons of the fourth wave of marriage emigration. That’s why many researches not by chance consider modern marriage emigration to be one of the forms of adaptation of Russian women to new ‘capitalistic’ conditions in the globalization epoch.

 




Accordingly, because of opposite reasons in the latest years according to the data of Civil Registry offices employees, the number of marriages contracted by Russian women, urban citizens first, with foreigners began to decrease. Naturally, both well-known complications connected with adaptation abroad and peculiarities of traditional family law of far countries (first in the East). But the main thing is that an ‘international’ marriage and leaving abroad have not long ago been considered by many Russians as a single way of ‘finding one’s place’ in life, solve many problems, including everyday ones. Now, with the improving of social economic situation in the country, many of these problems can be solved locally. And it means that attractiveness of marriages with foreigners is gradually decreasing.

 
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