HCA NEWS South Korean Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors appointed

At a ceremony Wednesday at the City Hall in Seoul, the Danish Ambassador to South Korea, Leif Donde, appointed two South Korean Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors. The South Korean Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary projects were also presented at the event.

By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 29 October 2004

The Danish Ambassador to South Korea hosted a ceremony Wednesday at Seoul City Hall where he appointed two South Korean Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors and presented the South Korean 2005 Andersen bicentenary projects.

The two Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors are the Mayor of Seoul, Mr. Lee Myung Bak, and Mrs. Yoon Suk Hwa, who is a celebrated South Korean actor and entertainer. Both received the 24 carat red and white gold Hans Christian Andersen pin and the official Hans Christian Andersen dinner service designed by Lin Utzon.

From being a relatively anonymous Asian capital, Seoul has over recent decades become a mega city that draws businesspeople and tourists from around the world. Despite the rapid transformation, Seoul has not lost its footing. The citizens of Seoul have been pivotal in the development of the city, and few Asian capitals can compete with Seoul when it comes to cultural activities, whether Asian or Western, - the Danish Ambassador to South Korea, Leif Donde, stated in his speech at the ceremony.

The ceremony also presented the celebrations of the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen scheduled in South Korea. As stated by Ambassador Leif Donde in his opening speech, the official launch will be on 2 April 2005, but as early as 13 and 14 November 2004, Seoul will experience an early start when the Tivoli Gardens Pantomime Theatre performs a ballet at the Opera House in Seoul.

South Korean projects
A veritable festival awaits during the Andersen bicentenary in the Korean capital. Among the events featured are:

19 November 2004: English reading by Danish author and poet Benny Andersen, who will be accompanied by jazz piano. The event will take place at the Goethe Institute in Seoul.

21 December 2004: The Danish violinist Nicolai Znaider will perform at Hoam Art Hall.

Spring 2005: The Goethe Institute will host an academic symposium on the subject of Hans Christian Andersen in a modern European context. Apart from writing fairytales, Andersen also wrote social and philosophical commentary in the form of essays that reflected life in Denmark and Europe at his time.

Around 1 June 2005. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Sejong Centre Concert Hall in Seoul.

Lee Myung Bak, Mayor of Seoul, South Korea.
Mr. Lee Myung Bak is the Mayor of Seoul, South Korea. He was elected to the South Korean National Assembly in 1992. He has announced his candidacy for the 2007 presidential election. The Mayor enjoys a successful career and is very actively involved in the development of Seoul.

The Mayor has shown great interest in Hans Christian Andersen and has kindly offered to host the concert of the National Danish Symphony Orchestra at the prestigious concert hall free of charge when performing in the city in June 2005. The Mayor has furthermore offered the assistance of the city regarding public relations and will lend his support in generating media coverage of events related to Hans Christian Andersen.

Yoon Suk Hwa, South Korean actor and singer
Mrs. Yoon Suk Hwa is celebrated and immensely popular for her many performances in a wide range of theatre plays, TV performances and musicals, including West Side Story, Fanny, Annie, Guys and Dolls, Song and Dance, and Nunsense, etc. She is 48 years of age and received her training as an actor in South Korea and New York (The City College of New York, Performing Arts; New York University; Harvard Drama Institute).

Mrs. Yoon Suk Hwa is also celebrated for her commitment to the care of children. In a Confucian society with a very rigid family structure, and where adoption is almost immoral, she has become a modern role model by adopting a child herself and advocating that Koreans should adopt the nation?s orphans rather than sending them abroad.