Envoys’ wives enjoy music at annual meetingThe Wives’ Association of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade held its annual gathering at the Korean foreign minister’s official residence on Wednesday.
The gathering gave the wives of diplomatic officials, most of them from countries outside of Korea, a chance to interact with each other and learn about Korea.
The event also marked the opening of the renovated official residence of Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon.
Mr. Ban opened the festivities by giving welcoming remarks to the 120 guests at his house, most of whom were wives of diplomatic and government officials in Korea.
After the foreign minister’s speech, world-famous cellist Chung Myung-wha played for the guests for 40 minutes. Once Ms. Chung finished playing, the guests moved to a garden next to the building and partook of a small buffet, which was catered by Lotte Hotel.
“The concert was beautiful. I’m a big fan of Chung Myung-hwa. I wish the concert was a little longer,” said Amal S. Al-Hadabi, the wife of the ambassador of Oman.
“There are other regular meetings among diplomats’ wives monthly, and even there are smaller gatherings for people who want to interact with their neighboring countries,” the ambassador’s wife said. “Those meetings are very helpful to people like us.”
Yoo Soon-taek, who is married to Korea’s foreign minister, said, “I am so happy that the weather warmed up for today’s event.”
“Since the event was held on a very small budget, the process of the preparation was not so easy,” she added. “Fortunately, Ms. Chung gave today’s cello concert for no cost, which made the event very special.”
The event also seemed slightly different from the one held last year.
“Last year, the event featured Korean traditional music and a ramie clothes exhibition, but this year, we wanted the event to be more simple and comfortable,” said Yoo Young-sook, wife of the Foreign Ministry’s Chief of Protocol Paek Young-sun. Ms. Yoo headed the preparations for the event.
by Choi Sun-young
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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