Film student Wille Hyvönen has made a film about his godfather Seppo, one of many Finnish men seeking love in Thailand. The film “My godfather, his Thai bride and I” is primarily a story of Willie himself and how he faces his own prejudices.
When Seppo – a meat traders in Varkaus, central Finland – went to Thailand to meet his future wife Pin, Willie couldn’t stand it.
“I felt irritation and hatred against men like him, who travel to emerging countries to find a wife. How can you communicate if you don’t speak the same language? Concurrently I was afraid that the relationship would be based on mutual exploitation, where Seppo gets sex against Pin gets money.”
Since Seppe previously had married and divorced a Thai woman, Willie was concerned that his godfather would be disappointed again. So he decided to come along to Buriram in eastern Thailand to see and question how the couple’s relationship developed.
“The subject both frightened and attracted me. Marriage between Finnish men and Thai women is something many have strong opinions about.”
In the beginning Willie suspects that Pin is a prostitute and at one point he steals Seppo wallet, thus forcing the couple to live without Finnish money.
As time goes by it becomes clear, that it is Willie, rather than Seppo and Pin, who change perception.
“When I realized that I behaved offensive against them, I had to question my own beliefs about an equal relationship – ask myself who I am to judge someone else’s love.”
In the film Willie asks Seppo how he knows that it is real love between Pin and him, Seppo answer that he has both heart and brain.
Neither Pin nor Seppo mind that Willie and his camera followed them anywhere. They are both keen to act as pioneers, standing up for their love.
Stories in media about Thai – Finnish marriages are mostly tragic leading to the impression that Finnish men who marries Thai women ends up unhappy.
“We take as granted that we are tolerant and open-minded, but no one I have spoken with is entirely without prejudice when it comes to this type of marriage.”
Willie tells that Pin hope the film will be shown in Thailand, because delusions about Western men are as common in Thailand as they are about Thai women in Finland.