By Lee Kyung-sik
Publisher-Chairman, The Korea Post media
Ambassador and Mrs. Krzysztof Majka of Poland in Seoul hosted an informal Year-end luncheon for a number of their close ambassador friends and madams at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on Dec. 30, 2016. Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media was also invited to share the wonderful food and beverage at Café 395 buffet restaurant.
Attending the luncheon from the Diplomatic Corps were Ambassadors and Mrs. Raul Hernandez of the Philippines, Ambassador and Mrs. Tomas Husak of the Czech Republic and Ambassador Vasyl Marmazo of Ukraine.
Ambassador and Mrs. Majka of Poland were leaving Korea in early April this year after their fulfillment of a successful tour of duty in Korea extending over six years.
Normally, the tour of duty of the ambassadors is three or four years although some ambassadors stayed in Korea for over 18 years and performed the role of the Dean of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps representing all the ambassadors on both official and non-official occasions—performing the role of a link between the ambassadors and the Korean society as well as the government.
In the opinion of many ambassadors and Korean society leaders, departure of the Majkas was a great loss to them because they were always a target of admiration among Koreans and foreigners alike for their unreserved effort for the promotion of relations and friendship between their country and Korea.
In particular, Mrs. Majka, the spouse of the Polish ambassador carried a nickname among her Koreans as a ‘Kimchi Doyenne’ for her exceptional skill for making tasty Kimchi, one of the two major staple food items of the Korean people, the other being rice.
Ambassador and Mrs. Majka appeared to take personal interest in the promotion of relations and friendship between Korea and Poland, which, needless to say, made a great difference from that performed in a perfunctory or dutiful manner and interest.
Majkas also attended many of the tours organized by The Korea Post media for the ambassadors on behalf of the mayors and governors of the local governments. The local Koreans are considered ‘genuine Koreans’ in the sense that the people in the big cities in Korea are somewhat ‘cosmopolitan.’
The Majkas seemed to try to maintain an adequate of measure of exposure to these ‘real Koreans’ and for this purpose they did their best to attend as many local tours as possible that were organized by The Korea Post—although the tours sometimes involved a long bus ride as many as three hours if not longer. The further the distance, it appeared, the stronger admiration and appreciation the local host governments had for their presence.
In a nutshell opinion, the Majkas ‘planted’ an excellent image of Poland and Polish people in the hearts of the Korean people, especially the ‘real Koreans’ in the countryside throughout their tour of duty in Korea.