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Far from easy way to be wed.

Travel costs, change of culture, language barriers - just some of the problems that can face men who opt for brides abroad.

Perhaps the region's most famous brides abroad couple were former Northern Gas supremo Brian Clegg, who, at 75, wed 23-year-old Thai Banjit Sawaengdee.

She jilted him six days after arriving in Britain and he then fell for a Ugandan woman.

The idea of mail-order brides has been around for a while, since early settlers would write back to their homelands for a bride.

The term was reborn in the 80s, when there emerged a significant demand for mail-order brides from the Philippines, Thailand, and other Asian countries.

In the early 90s, after the Soviet Union collapsed and the Iron Curtain had been raised, there opened a new mail-order bride business opportunity.

When the internet appeared, the business boomed even further. Type in mail-order brides on the Net and you'll get 130,000 sites.

There are concerns about the practice among civil rights groups, claiming it leads to the abuse of women.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 28, 2003
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