By Lee Kyung-sik, publisher of The Korea Post media
In the opinion of many Koreans, former Ambassador Krzysztof Ignacy Majka of Poland in Seoul and Mrs. Zofia Majka are considered to be among the most dedicated foreign mission chiefs and madams in Korea.
Most fittingly, Ambassador Majka was recently honored with the Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, Kwanghwa Medal which is the highest among all diplomatic decorations, e.g., Hungin, Sungye, Changui and Sukjong.
Regardless of difference in the Korean governments, Ambassador and Madam Majka are rated as many people in Korea as being among the most respected and beloved among the Korean people as well as many officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other segments of Korean society.
In the opinion of many Koreans who know Majkas say, “Well the Kwanghwa Medal is a rather late comer!”
For one thing, Madam Sofia loves Kimchi, the staple side dish food of the Korean people north and south and throughout the Korean history, and she does so even more than Koreans themselves do—in the opinion of many people who know them.
Mrs. Majka frequently hosts dinner and luncheon at her residence while in Korea, where Kimchi is among the best-tasking. Perhaps, Ambassador and Mrs. Majka are among the rarest ambassador couples in Korea, who so frequently hosted friendly dinners and luncheons for their Korean and international friends at their residence in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul. Mostly, such occasions were attended not only by the foreign ministry officials but also university leaders, media representatives and leading figures in various other segments of Korean society.
Some guests would jokingly say, “Wow, Mrs. Majka must be spending fortune treating her Korean and international friends out of her own pocket.”
The informal parties are always ‘full’ not only due to the genuinely friendly manners on the part of the host but also the irresistible repast that one (of any nationality) could hardly resist.
In the opinion of many people in Korea, Koreans and expatriates alike, the Kanghwa Medal for Ambassador Majka is a rather late comer. However, better late than never, the Korean government, in the opinion of many people in Korea who know Majkas, say, did a wonderful job honoring Majkas with the Medal. It is redeeming to think that the Medal is the highest among all Diplomatic Service Merit medals in Korea.
Whoever wants to follow the suit of Majkas in Korea, they would have a really tough time. This is because what they did in Korea came truly from the bottom of their heart in the opinion of many people in Korea who know them.
In a brief interview with The Korea Post media on the most auspicious occasion, Ambassador Majka said, “Although we are already well settled in Poland we often come back in our thoughts and memories to an exciting time we spent in Korea.” He said: “It was a very rewarding time both professionally and socially for both me and Zofia. We are missing Korea and all the wonderful friends we left there. We are, of course, missing you and your deep knowledge of your country and politics which you eagerly shared with your friends helping the same to build friendly relations between people coming from different walks of life and with the diplomatic community.” Here are excerpts from the interview with Majkas:
Excerpts from a brief interview with Ambassador Majka:
Let me also share with you my joy and without wishing to boast to convey you that my diplomatic work in Korea was highly recognized by the Korean authorities and I was awarded a prestigious distinction--Order of Diplomatic Service Merit “Gwanghwa Medal” 1st Class, for my contribution to strengthening the bilateral relations between Poland and Korea.
The Order was conferred on me during the Korean National Day in Warsaw by Korean Ambassador H.E. Sung-joo Choi in front of around 600 guests.
I am happy to send you a few photographs taken by a Polish photographer, Mr. Andrzej Lek (to be mentioned when published).
I am sure that this decoration can be also viewed as an expression of excellent cooperation between Poland and Korea--since 2013 Strategic Partners--built on solid economic, political and cultural foundations as well as mutual understanding and sympathy existing throughout the years between our nations and resulted largely from similar historical experience.
For The Korea Post media stories and photos on Ambassador and Mrs. Majka and Korean-Polish relations, please visit: