Abe’s spouse makes impression with students

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Abe’s spouse makes impression with students

The wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Akie Abe, is known to be a fan of Korean cultural wave, or “hallyu.” On Oct. 10, when she visited Korea with her husband, she made quite an impression.
Mrs. Abe visited Kwanghee Elementary School in Sindang-dong, Seoul, at her own request and showed her ability to speak relatively fluent Korean. When a boy and girl presented her with a bouquet and greeted her, Mrs. Abe said clearly in Korean, “Nice to meet you. Thank you.” She acted as a guest teacher that day and read children’s poetry to the students, who responded with enthusiastic applause.
She also introduced herself in Korean and said, “It is my pleasure to participate in your class.”
Mrs. Abe said she learned Korean by watching “Winter Sonata,” a Korean television drama. She said she could read Korean comfortably and exchange words of greeting.
“I didn’t practice the introduction, but I read the poetry several times in advance,” she said.
“Unexpectedly, she was easygoing and shy and I felt close to her,” said Kim Gyeong-hi, a teacher at the school. The children were surprised that the Japanese Mrs. Abe could speak Korean.
Later Mrs. Abe watched a Korean traditional mask dance by third-grade students. After the school visit, Mrs. Abe went to Insa-dong, central Seoul, to see Korean traditional-style crafts.

by Shin Eun-jin
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