Suwon, South Korea
Ever since I first arrived in Korea, March has always been a milestone. It is one of many milestones, but it’s one that is always hanging over me, not in a particularly negative or positive way, it is just there waiting for me to remember it without celebration.
People are fond of marking milestones, either as celebrations or as reasons to reflect again. If you think of March as a milestone in Korea, it was the month two years ago when the ROK Cheonan was sunk off the coast of Korea. Of more global significance, it was one year ago this month when the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami struck the east coast of Japan, killing thousands, making millions homeless, and of course shattering the reactor in the Fukishima nuclear plant. These days will forever be milestones in the lives of those directly affected by both of these events.
January 10, 2012
For starters, Happy New Year.
Another year of my life in Korea has passed. This March will mark the seven year anniversary of my first arrival in Korea. It seems like that long. That’s neither good nor bad; it’s just how I feel. If I look back on 2011 I can say that it has been a good year. As well as passing some milestones, it has been productive, it has been exciting, it has been tragic, and it has definitely strengthened my resolve to see things through in the future. But, I don’t really want to go on about how 2011 was when 2012 is here and happening now.
A few months ago I was elected as the new Chairman of the Irish Association of Korea. I suppose I had it coming to me. So, what about it?
The Irish Association of Korea has been around for over ten years and primarily seeks to promote Ireland and Irishness in Korea. We do have a few other mandates, such as fundraising for a memorial to honour the Irish who died in the Korean War, but essentially we try our best to promote Ireland as a country rich in culture which is distinct from the many other countries busy promoting their cultural identity in Korea.
Suwon, South Korea
There are probably two moments in my life which I regard as life defining. Of all the moments which made a difference, the two most important really changed who I was and where I was going in my life. If I could be astute I could claim that they gave me a greater sense of purpose, allowing me to understand who I am more. One of these moments was coming to Korea. The other was the first time I heard The Stone Roses play. Continue reading
You may not know this but Koreans are known as the Irish of the east. I didn’t know this until a while after I arrived here first in 2005. Of course, when I was young and heard the main reason why I thought it was great and I looked forward to challenging this accolade to the best of my ability; could Koreans out-drink me, a then twenty-three year old post-university drifter who had ended up in Korea with the promise of earning enough money to travel around the world. The fact that I never made it past Malaysia is beyond the point.