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Spouses of envoys have a rare chance to learn classy Korean New Year foodsAt the invitation of President Moon of Korea Occupational Training College in Seoul

Mrs. Mah Manesh Taherian, spouse of the ambassador of Iran, and the spouses of the ambassadors of Laos, Thailand, Ethiopia and a number of other senior diplomats, had a rare opportunity to do justice to their outstanding culinary skills at Korea Occupational Training College in Seoul on Feb. 8, 2017.

Spouses of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats visiting the Korea Occupational Training College (KOTC) in Seoul and some of the College faculty members. At the front row, from left, are: Dean Moon Yang soon of KOTC, Mrs. Manilath Keodalavong (spouse of the ambassador of Lao Republic, Mrs. Mah Manesh Taherian (spouse of the ambassador of Iran), Mrs. Snezhanka Panova (spouse of the counsellor of Bulgaria), Mrs. Weeree Thitipoonya, (spouse of the ambassador of Thailand).From left in the rear row are: Prof. Yoon In-ja of KOTC, Editor Linda Youn of the Korean-language newspaper of The Korea Post, Miss Tedecha (daughter of the ambassador of Ethiopia), Mrs. Mame Hailu (spouse of the ambassador of Ethiopia), son of the ambassador of Ethiopia, Mrs. Sofia Salas Monge of the Cost Rican Embassy, President Moon Sang-joo of KOTC, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media, Prof. Gu Bon-gil of KOTC, Miss Tedecha, daughter of the ambassador of Ethiopia, Mr. Daniel Rupanov of the Bulgarian Embassy and Prof. Lee Gwon-bok of KOTC.

It has been known that some of the spouses of the ambassadors do ‘more than their husbands do’ in promoting their countries to Korea and other countries of the world, for that matter. The spouses of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats of Iran, Laos, Thailand, Ethiipia, Bulgaria and Costa Rica just did that on that day fully exhibiting their culinary skills to the president and master chefs of the College during their tour of the College.

President Moon (left) presents Mrs. Manilath Keodalavong (spouse of the ambassador of the Lao Republic) with Plaque of Top Prize in the Korean culinary art and skills in recognition of her excellent Korean New Year Food cooking.

As soon as they were ushered into a large conference room at the College that day, President Moon Sang-joo of the College greeted the distinguished ladies courteously and gave his welcome remarks, which substantially introduced the activities of his College.

President Moon Sang-joo of Korea Occupational Training College in Seoul makes a welcome speech to the spouses of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats.

He said: “Internationalization is taking place at a very rapid pace and in a society affected by this phenomenon persons with competitive ability are given the respect due to them.” Then he said, “New information and technologies are being developed as a result of sustained research and development efforts and the national boundaries are coming down against this backdrop.” (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this article.)

An artist’s conception of the campus buildings of Korea Occupational Training College to be dedicated this year.

The inspecting madams of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats then were led on a tour of various classrooms of the College, which included different classrooms each of which was used in giving a specialized training the in the cooking and preparation of foods and beverages of the different countries of the world.

Mrs. Weeree Thitipoonya (spouse of the ambassador of Thailand)Mrs. Manilath Keodalavong (spouse of the ambassador of Laos Republic)

Finally, the visiting spouses of the ambassadors and other diplomats were invited into a large cooking classroom where each guest was assigned to a large cooking table equipped with an oven and other cooking equipment and utensils.

Madams of the ambassadors and other diplomats prepare to learn the classy traditional Korean New Year Ddeokguk Soup.

Professor Madam Yoon In-ja of the College, a specialist in culinary art, performed a demonstration showing to the madams how to cook the traditional Korean Lunary New Year delicacies.
She and her senior students visited each madam and diplomat and helped them how to make the traditonal Korean Lunary Near Year food and soup.

Visiting spouses of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats sit before the traditional Korean New Year foods which they have prepared by themselves under the instruction of Professor Madam Yoon In-ja.

Menu of the day for the distinguished spouses to demonstrate their skills was the traditional Korean Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) delicacies, which consisted of:
Galbi Mandu Guk (short ox rib mandu soup with traditional Korean dumplings)
Seollal Gimchi (seasoned traditional Korean New Year cabbage-radish watery pickle)
Bindae Ddeok (pea pan cake made with pea flower, vegetables and meat)

Professor Madam Yoon In-ja (wearing white chef’s attire)

Wolgwachae (a plate of palace vegetable preparation with squash, beef, mushrooms, glutinous rice and various other vegetables)
Doraji Geongwa Muchim (Mixture of Bell Flower roots with various other vegetables).
The visiting madams and other diplomats were invited to personally make and cook the traditional Korean Lunar New Year Mandu Guk dumplings.
Korean people have an old saying: “You are not one more year old if you do not have the New Year Mandu Soup.”

Prof. Yoon helps Bulgarian Diplomat Daniel Rupanov sampling the traditional Korean Lunar New Year food.

The distinguished ladies that day, unfortunately, failed to do justice to that traditional Korean old saying and get the invaluable benefit of it, as they, almost without exception sampled the New Year Mandu Soup they made by themselves.
Unfortunately, that day was a very, very busy day for the ambassadors and other diplomats as the day was replete with many important events to which they were invited with their spouses.

A bowl of completed Mandu Soup for the Korean Lunar New Year

For President Moon of the College and Chairman Lee of The Korea Post, it was the worst they as far as attendance of the diplomats at their tours.
However, almost all the Madams favoring President Moon and Chairman Lee with their kind attendance at the tour appeared fully satisfied with their decision to oblige Moon and Lee rather than making happy the hosts of the other events of the day.

Madam Mah Manesh Taherian (spouse of the ambassador of Iran) consults with Prof. Yoon on traditional Korean Lunar New Year Food. Madam Taherian is known to have rare culinary talent, exhibited it that day, and eventually won the Top Citation that day.

President Moon said that he would host another tour for the madams and ambassadors to help them familiarize themselves with the classy traditional Korean culinary wonders taught at his College.

Madams are lost in cooking the best traditional Korean Seollal Ddeokguk Soup and Mrs. Snezhanka Panova (spouse of the counsellor of Bulgaria)

Excerpts from the welcome remarks of President Moon:
Welcome distinguished madams to Korea Occupational Training College!
We are living in an era of unlimited competition in a world where there are no walls or partitions or national boundaries in the area of industrial environment.

Spouses of the ambassadors and other senior diplomats are lost in cooking premium rice cake soup of Korean Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day).

In order to tide over the competition in Korea and the outside world in this competitive industrial environment, we need to train fully qualified professionals in the different fields—as well as in the food and beverage and catering service industry.

Mrs. Weeree Thitipoonya (spouse of the ambassador of Thailand) learns how to make traditional Korean New Year mandu.

It is my fixed conviction that new technologies and new skills are a requirement for remaining competitive in the industrial environment.
In order to tide over the competition in Korea and the outside world in this competitive industrial environment, we need to train fully qualified professionals in the different fields—as well as in the food and beverage and catering service industry.
It is my fixed conviction that new technologies and new skills are a requirement for remaining competitive in the industrial environment.

Mrs. Sofia Salas Monge of Costrica consults with Prof. Yoon on traditional Korean Lunar New Year mandu.

Internationalization is taking place at a very rapid pace and in a society affected by this phenomenon persons with competitive ability are given the respect due to them. New information and technologies are being developed as a result of sustained research and development efforts and the national boundaries are coming down against this backdrop.
We at this College are training students to actively meet this situation and perform the role of leaders in the acquisition of new knowledge and new technologies. The College maintains the highest standard of training and education.

Mrs. Weeree Thitipoonya (spouse of the ambassador of Thailand)

We have been and will continue to train personnel to actively meet the fast-changing environment of the industry and society today and tomorrow.

A large variety of celebration cakes made by the students of the KOTC

List of visitors to the College:
Mrs. Mah Manesh Taherian (spouse of the ambassador of Iran), Mrs. Manilath Keodalavong (spouse of the ambassador of Laos Republic), Mrs. Weeree Thitipoonya (spouse of the ambassador of Thailand), Mrs. Mame Hailu (spouse of the ambassador of Ethiopia), Mrs. Snezhanka Panova (spouse of the counsellor of Bulgaria), Mr. Daniel Rupanov of the Bulgarian Embassy and Mrs. Sofia Salas Monge of the Cost Rican Embassy.

Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (foreground) and his Korean-language Editor Mrs. Linda Youn (right) are busy trying to prepare traditional Korean New Year rice cake soup, Ddeokguk.

Park So-yeon  edt@koreapost.com

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