Friday, July 23, 2010

Germans keen on Korea (and my photos)

I get all kinds of mail directed to me through this website, and an interesting one recently came from a German woman who was starting up a magazine (in German) about South Korean culture. She contacted me after seeing pictures here on my experience of the World Cup in Seoul back in 2002.

I really spent a memorable night in Seoul watching the semi-final between an extremely excited South Korea (nobody expected them to get so far) and Germany - my loyalties at the time lay with the land hosting me that day, Korea. The atmosphere out in the streets of central Seoul was incredible and even more unbelievable was what happened when the game finished - big plastic garbage bags appeared from nowhere and everyone around helped to clean up the streets. The enduring image I have of that night is nothing to do with football - it's of a man in an expensive grey suit kneeling down on the asphalt to carefully scoop up some confetti and put it in the bin. That says a lot about Korean culture to me, and it's all good!

Apparently, there are enough Germans interested in Korean culture for there to be a new online magazine about it - if you are a German speaker then go look at K-Magazin; parts of each issue will be translated into English too. I've taught a heap of Korean students here in Australia and had a delightful experience with all of them, and am definitely keen to make a return visit to Korea one day, so I can understand the German interest in the country too.

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