A year in the life…day 274: Korea’s national day


Following on, I am assuming, from meeting with Korean Government representatives , I, along with a partner, was invited to the Korean ambassador’s function to celebrate the national day of the Republic of Korea. It was interesting – attending a listening to the speeches it was clear how fundamentally the Korean War has shaped Korean national identity – something which I perhaps had not thought about before, given that the Korean War is runs so far behind the two World Wars and Vietnam in Australian consideration.

Anyway, I haven’t been to a full on diplomatic event like this for a while, and they are a little strange. We even toasted the Queen. My invitation was “and partner” so I dragged James along to ensure I had someone to talk to, and more importantly because I knew he, like me, would enjoy the concert part of the evening. We got to look at the new parts of the National Gallery which are rather nice – an excellent room for events – and then the performance was lovely. They played crowd pleasing classical music, but hey, I am the crowd, and I was pleased. I really liked Nara Lee, the tenor, mostly for his stage presence, although James felt his voice wasn’t quite big enough for Puccini. Grace Kim on the piano did a sterling job throughout – I did wonder during Beethoven’s piano sonata (the Moonlight sonata) whether the fact it conjured in my mind images of death and vampires and horror (well the first movement) was inherent in the music, or because I had heard it as the soundtrack to these kind of things too often. My favourite though was the cello – the David Popper Cello Quartet were excellent and Minah Choe both had a fantastic stage presence as well as a great control of her instrument. It was just a pity that some people thought they were too important to mute their mobile phones.

Anyway, hoping that I will get invited again next year.