Thursday, October 8, 2009

Santa Sejong is coming to town

As expected, the 10 meter high bronze statue of King Sejong and the exhibition space below were inaugurated on Gwanghwamun Square for Hangeul Day.

Pictures of the statue in its workshop had been previously exhibited, so it's not as if Seoul people discovered all of a sudden their favorite hero in its golden glory.

But today, watching Sejong Dae Hwang sitting in the sun with a big kind smile on his round face, I couldn't help but thinking about Santa Claus calling the next kid on his lap : come read the Hunminjeongeum Haerye with me... Have you been a good boy last year ? You'd better or I call the big ironclad fella down the street...

That would be Admiral YI Sun-shin, or rather the impressive statue of Korea's other hero who'd been guarding Sejongno over the past decades, waiting for the Great King to return to the boulevard named after him.

Waging war is not what Korea is about. What this perspective teaches us is that culture and education are treasures worth rediscovering every day. They sometimes need protection, but are meant for every citizen and visitor to enjoy.

Meanwhile, the next landmark to be unwrapped, Gwanghwamun itself (the gate), keeps rising under its colorful hangar : wooden pillars have recently been erected, along with lateral doors and staircases.

Seoul Village 2009

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