Ogokbap

Daeboreum,” the day of the first full moon of the lunar year, falls on February 24 this year.   Koreans eat nuts, seasoned greens and “ogokbap” consisting of five kinds of grain to wish for health and happiness and to repel evil spirits.  Every five years, they also change Presidential administrations.  So it’s farewell to Lee Myung-bak, and a rather tepid welcome for Park Geun-hye. This is Lunghu’s last chance to comment on President Lee before he becomes Citizen Lee, so it’s time for the Lee Myung-bak retrospective photomontage that we’d hoped to see before the end of 2012.

Sometime ago, Lunghu blogged about the hidden meaning of decorative backdrops in official Korean photo-op portraits.  Faithful readers may recall that Lunghu had observed a striking correlation between the national origin of official visitors and Lee Myung-bak’s use as a backdrop of a Chosun-dynasty screen depicting the ceremonial protocol of barbarian emissaries presenting tribute to the Chosun emperor.  President Lee’s visitors from Africa, South Asia and Latin America shook hands in front of images showing kowtowing barbarians, while visitors from high-value export markets in Europe, East Asia and the United States did not.  Did this cultural pattern change during the Year of the Dragon?  Nope!

Joyce Banda : Malawi

Joyce Banda : Malawi

Fernando Lugo : Paraguay

Fernando Lugo : Paraguay

Ollanta Humala : Peru

Ollanta Humala : Peru

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan : Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdogan : Turkey

Islam Karimov : Uzbekistan

Islam Karimov : Uzbekistan

 

Viktor Yanukovych : Ukraine

Viktor Yanukovych : Ukraine

Carl Gustav IV : whore-king of Sweden

Carl Gustav IV : whore-king of Sweden

Herman Van Rompuy/JM Barroso : European Council

Herman Van Rompuy/JM Barroso : European Council

Mariano Rajoy : Espana

Mariano Rajoy : Espana

Mahinda Rajapaksa : Sri Lanka

Mahinda Rajapaksa : Sri Lanka

Nguyen Tan Dung : Viet Nam

Nguyen Tan Dung : Viet Nam

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono : Indonesia

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono : Indonesia

Koro Bessho : Japanese Ambassador to ROK

Koro Bessho : Japanese Ambassador to ROK

Noble Guests

Here are the noble guests whose photo-ops occurred in front of a golden backdrop depicting tortoises (longevity), deer (wealth, long life) and other symbolically propitious imagery:

Aung San Suu Kyi : Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi : Myanmar

Lars Rasmussen : Denmark

Lars Rasmussen : Denmark

Kuupik Vandersee Kleist : Greenland

Kuupik Vandersee Kleist : Greenland

Jim Yong Kim : USA/World Bank

Jim Yong Kim : USA/World Bank

Valentina Matvienko : Russia

Valentina Matvienko : Russia

Meng Jianzhu : China

Meng Jianzhu : China

Julia Marton-Lefevre : International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Julia Marton-Lefevre : International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

 

Achim Steiner : UN Environment Program (UNEP)

Achim Steiner : UN Environment Program (UNEP)

Lingering questions …

… that may never be satisfactorily answered:

  • Why such gold-standard esteem for UN functionaries?  Could it be because they work for a Korean (Ban Ki-moon)?
  • Why does President Lee think so highly of Denmark and Greenland?  Is it Denmark’s perennial ranking as the least-corrupt nation in the world?
  • Why does President Lee think so poorly of Spain and the European Union?  Are there trade barriers impeding importation of Hyundais?

 

 

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