Austria: one in four Austrian weddings involve foreigners
Almost a quarter of all the weddings in Austria are binational according to the latest statistics from Statistik Austria.
It said that 23.5 percent of marriages fall into this category were either one partner is an Austrian and the other a foreign national – or both are foreign nationals.
In 2010 that represented 8,823 binational weddings.
The statistics also showed that while the number of foreigners marrying each other in Austria has remained relatively constant, the number of Austrians marrying foreigners has fallen significantly.
In 2004 it was 27.8 percent but the latest figures it had fallen to 18.3 percent.
This was believed to be because of the law changes in 2005 that tightened up the regulations for residency for married foreigners to clamp down on sham marriages that will purely carried out for the purposes of gaining work Visa and residency permit. (via Austrian Times)
Sharon Fuller proposed to her partner Simon Dunkerley, 518 feet in the air at the top of the Blackpool Tower, with the words ‘Marry Me?’ written hundreds of feet below in the sand on Blackpool beach. Luckily for Sharon, Simon said yes and the pair plan to marry this summer. (via Telegraph)
An Oetrange woman set fire to her own house after a domestic dispute on Sunday night.
After arguing with her husband, the woman set fire to her own living room. Firefighters were summoned and no one was hurt in the blaze. The couple did have to stay elsewhere, however. The husband crashed at a friend’s house. The wife was taken in for a psychiatric assessment. (via News 352)
According to a marriage custom in Turkey, the bride usually wears a red sash around her waist. It symbolizes the blood expected on her wedding night – considered proof of virginity. This disturbing tradition is not just followed in rural regions. It’s practised by almost all religious Turks – even those born and raised in Germany.
But what’s often ignored is whether the woman – or her husband – actually wants to wed. The fairly common ritual of forced marriage is not always easy to discern. Researchers studying immigration speak of forced marriages when people are pressured into tying the knot by threatening them with psychological or physical violence.
That still happens often enough in Germany, 50 years after the first Turkish “guest workers” arrived. A recent study presented by Family Minister Kristina Schröder and Integration Commissioner Maria Böhmer concluded that forced marriages aren’t uncommon in Muslim communities in Germany and also affect young people.
But why has this condemnable ritual endured? Why do these people – according to the study mostly Turks – not adapt and identify with the values in German society? Apparently, not even some born in Germany do.
Integration, of course, is a two-way street. Ideally, it involves a majority willing to accept others and a minority that wants to be a part of that society. But many guest workers who came here didn’t want to be a part of Germany. They wanted to earn money and return to their native country as soon as possible. Instead, they ended up staying. But it appears that many didn’t change their way of thinking. Many guest workers brought over their families to Germany and proceeded to live fairly insular lives in immigrant-dominated neighbourhoods, making it difficult for their children to gain a foothold in German society.
Many remained strangers in their adopted country and Germany failed to integrate this growing minority. It’s true that immigrants today are provided with an unprecedented level of support to become part of German society. But many immigrants still feel like unwelcome guests in Germany. They are unwilling to entrust their daughters (or sons) to people they aren’t familiar with, which is why they often choose a partner for them from their own culture. (via The Local)
A French gay couple were married on Saturday in the south-western town of Cabestany in a gesture they and the town’s Communist mayor hope will help change French law, which does not recognise homosexual marriage.
“There are times when you have to be an outlaw,” declared Cabestany’s mayor Jean Vila before Saturday morning’s ceremony, appealing to other mayors to follow his example.
Saturday’s happy couple, 37-year-old artist Guillaume and 48-year-old photo-lab manager Patrick, say they were married both as a demonstration of love and as an activist gesture so that “very soon in France two people of the same sex can get married legally”.
“We are citizens, the same as everybody else,” they commented.
Their marriage lines contain the phrase “unfortunately this document has no official character, since the law today forbids marriage between people of the same sex, but it signifies the wish of the local authority to see the law change”. (via RFI)
Polar bears and Poland, but no Soviet Union in Finnish name register
One in four newly-wed brides are opting to keep their own name, rather than take their husband’s. The trend for unconventional names after marriage has also seen more couples taking on entirely new names. Swedish and Russian names are also staging something of a comeback.
It used to be taken for granted that a woman would take her husband’s name after getting hitched. Now things are different, but 75 percent of Finnish women still choose to take their husband’s name.
“Increasingly often educated, professional women are known in their own circle of acquaintances by their own name, and they do not want to hide behind their husband’s,” observes professor Urpo Kangas, who acts as chair of the Advisory Committee on Names that must approve all new names in Finland.
The change is quite dramatic. Just 20 years ago 90 percent of new brides took their husband’s name. The number of women with double-barrelled names incorporating both their husband’s and their own name has remained stable at around 7 percent.
The newest trend in Finland is establishing a new branch of the family with its own name.
“Nowadays it’s quite common for a couple to create a new name with elements from both partners’ surnames,” says Kangas. “For example when a Jääskinen and a Karhunen get married, they might like the surname Jääkarhu. That way they become this generation’s Adam and Eve. It’s fashionable all over the world.”
‘Jääkarhu’ means ‘polar bear’ in Finnish. (via YLE Uutiset)
Son claims 90-year-old German beer baron was killed
Bruno H. Schubert, who sold the family’s famous Henninger brewery more than thirty years ago, shocked Frankfurt high society when he married Meharit Kifle, an attractive woman of Ethiopian origin, who was then 64 years his junior in August 2009.
His poodle, Sissy, was an official witness at a garish marriage that attracted tabloid headlines and which took place just five months after the death of Ingeborg, his first wife of 68 years.
The second marriage to Ms Kifle, who had a four-year-old son by another relationship, came to an abrupt end when Mr Schubert, who was known nationally as an environmental philanthropist, died on October 17 last year of apparent old age.
But following a legal dispute over Mr Schubert’s will, Hanns Peter Nerger, his illegitimate son from an extramarital affair in the 1940s, has accused his young widow of withholding liquids from his father, causing his death by dehydration.
"If my suspicions prove to be wrong, I can live with it. Should I be right, I hope that the culprits get their punishment," he told the Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper. (via The Telegraph)
Frenchman ordered to pay wife damages for lack of sex
A Frenchman has been ordered to pay his ex-wife £8,500 in damages for failing to have enough sex with her during their marriage.
The 51-year-old man was fined under article 215 of France’s civil code, which states married couples must agree to a “shared communal life”.
A judge has now ruled that this law implies that “sexual relations must form part of a marriage”.
The rare legal decision came after the wife filed for divorce two years ago, blaming the break-up on her husband’s lack of activity in the bedroom.
A judge in Nice, southern France, then granted the divorce and ruled the husband named only as Jean-Louis B. was solely responsible for the split.
But the 47-year-old ex-wife then took him back to court demanding 10,000 euros in compensation for “lack of sex over 21 years of marriage”.
The ex-husband claimed “tiredness and health problems” had prevented him from being more attentive between the sheets.
But a judge in the south of France’s highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled: “A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent. (via The Telegraph)