2018/11/17  
英文 English 
Struggle turns to happiness for Cambodian woman married in Taiwan (2013/07/14)

Taiwan is home to hundreds of thousands of foreign brides, many of whom have trouble adapting. Tonight we take a closer look at a Cambodian bride who has spent close to two decades in Taiwan. Early problems made life difficult, but later she found a niche that brought happiness.

The family sits together and enjoys a meal.

Dish after dish resembles native Taiwanese cuisine, though this evening’s hostess is Lin Li-chan from Cambodia.

Seventeen years ago Lin was a teenager who came to Taiwan and did not speak a word of Taiwanese. And she had no experience doing the difficult housework that is expected of her.

Lin Li-chan
Foreign Bride
I was asked to cook and then take care of the children. And after I finished cooking there was work to do. When everyone took afternoon naps, I would clean the kitchen.

Lin came from a wealthy family in Cambodia, though a car accident led to the death of her father, who was the main bread winner. Her mother decided to marry her off, blindly pairing her with this Taiwanese man, Hsieh Shui-chin, who is more than 10 years her senior.

However, because they had their differences, there was a lot of conflict at the beginning.

Hsieh Shui-chin
Husband of Foreign Bride
Sometimes, I would talk to customers about business and come home a little late. She would wait for me at home and begin crying to show her dissatisfaction, which would lead to a fight.

Lin Li-chan
Foreign Bride
They would say our family bought a foreign bride. Many people would tell him that foreign spouses in Taiwan just want to make money and send it home.

With these stereotypes of foreign spouses running rampant, Lin would ultimately only be able to accept so much.

Lin Li-chan
Foreign Bride
I found it hard to adapt. I would cry at night then wipe my tears because I didn’t want my husband to know. Every night I dreamed of my father and the life that we used to live with him. I thought that for the first 10 years of my marriage, my dreams were real life, and the life that I was living in the daytime was just a dream.

Lin cries easily, her eyes turning red with tears when she recalls memories of her past loneliness and the many misunderstandings she encountered.

However, things have changed, and now she is able to smile when she looks back on this past hardship.

This is Changchun Community, in Changhua County’s Huatan Township. Lin is the director of the local community development association. She uses volunteering to help her get through tough times.

The elderly living in this area are grateful for Lin’s leadership, though few can guess that this happy leader once appeared nervous in front of local children.

Lin Li-chan
Foreign Bride
Volunteer mothers used to go to the school to tell these children stories. I also went, but the first time the children didn’t understand what I was saying. They became noisy and condescending, asking me my country and where I came from. I became withdrawn. Later, I went back a second time. When they asked where I was from, I offered to give anyone who guessed correctly a gift.

Being a volunteer in the school helped open Lin’s heart. She began to study Chinese with her children, learned about beauty and cosmetology, and gained the relevant licenses. She studied in a college and learned to cut hair, a skill she used to help others. She had fun volunteering, and started traveling between Taichung and Changhua to help other foreign spouses adapt to Taiwanese life.

However, this busy schedule upset her husband, who was operating a metal processing plant.

Hsieh Shui-chin
Husband of Foreign Bride
This volunteering led to more quarrels. She would come home late, explaining that she had a project. I would think that nobody should come home this late, so I would yell. Once I even flipped a table over in anger.

How this couple worked through its differences will be the subject of our next story on this foreign bride.
中文 Chinese  
別叫我外籍新娘 (上)

台灣的外籍配偶愈來越愈多,根據統計,目前已經有44萬6千多人,印象中,大部分的外籍配偶存在著各種社會適應上的問題。不過,這個單元,我們要帶您認識一位不一樣的外籍配偶,來自柬埔寨的林麗蟬。

一家人吃得津津有味,和樂融融。

做出這一道道台灣味料理的,是家裡的女主人林麗蟬,來自柬埔寨。

然而十七年前,二十歲不到的林麗蟬剛嫁到台灣時,台語一句都不會,更不曾做過粗重的家事。

[[林麗蟬]]
“還要煮飯,還要帶小孩,然後煮飯完了,還要工作,人家在午休的時候,就要整理廚房”

林麗蟬原本出身柬埔寨的富裕家庭,後來因為父親車禍過世,一家人失去經濟依靠,林麗蟬也就在母親的安排下,透過相親嫁給了年長他十多歲的台灣人,謝水金。

不過兩人因為相處上的不適應,保受困擾。

[[林麗蟬先生 謝水金]]
“像我在做生意有時候去跟客戶談,談得晚一點回來,她就在家裡等,就哭給我看就這樣,就會吵架”

[[林麗蟬]]
“他們會說,我們家買了一個外籍新娘,很多人會跟他說,外籍配偶來台灣都要賺錢寄回家”

面對家人對外籍配偶的刻板印象,讓她只能吞下滿腹的委屈

[[林麗蟬]]
“就是覺得不適應,就自己晚上哭一哭,然後也不敢讓先生知道,他進來就趕快把眼淚擦乾。每天晚上,我覺得說我都會做夢,夢到我爸,每天幾乎都會夢到他
就夢到我們過去在那邊的生活,我覺得在(結婚)前十年,我都一直認為,夢裡面才是真實我的生活,白天這些都是夢”

回憶過去獨自忍受孤單與誤解 ,林麗蟬哭紅了雙眼

但現在的她,為什麼卻能笑得如此開懷呢

這裡是彰化縣花壇鄉的長春社區,林麗蟬是社區發展協會的總幹事,原來,她就是透過做志工,走出了陰霾。

老人家對林麗蟬的領導能力,都覺得很服氣,但他們不知道,眼前這位能說善道,條理分明的總幹事,曾經連面對學校的小朋友都覺得害怕

[[林麗蟬]]
“就小孩子長大,學校就剛好有志工媽媽在那邊講故事,我就說 喔 那我也要來當志工。第一場上去演講(故事)的時候,下面的小朋友都聽不懂,就開始很吵,語氣就非常地看不起妳,妳是哪一國的,妳哪裡來的,就會問妳,妳第一次就縮回去了,然後回去,第二次又去的時候,問我說,妳是哪裡的,我說,你猜的對,我就送你禮物”

擔任學校志工媽媽,打開了林麗蟬的心門,她跟著孩子一起學中文,也開始學習美容技術,考取相關證照,唸大學,以她的一技之長,四處替人義剪,慢慢從幫助別人的過程中得到樂趣,甚至天天往返台中彰化,協助跟她一樣飄洋過海,難以適應台灣生活的外籍配偶。

不過,這樣天天往外跑的生活,兼顧不了先生的五金加工廠。

[[林麗蟬先生 謝水金]]
“從事這個公益活動,我們爭吵得比較多,都晚回家啊,都說什麼去個案哪裡,我覺得哪裡有人那麼晚回家的,我會罵人,最嚴重是翻桌子,翻一次”

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