Everyone did well from Nary’s marriage to a Chinese man, except the young Cambodian bride herself, who returned home from the six-year ordeal destitute, humiliated and with little prospect of seeing her son again.
Her brother ran away with US$3,000 after cajoling the then 17-year-old to leave Cambodia to marry. Brokers split the remaining US$7,000 paid by her Chinese husband, who got himself a longed-for heir.
But her wedding to a stranger thousands of miles from home, in a language she could not understand, was ill-fated from the start.
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