Ambassador Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic hosted a photo exhibition at the Korea Foundation in Seoul on April 27, 2015 on the theme of “Our Country, Our People and Our Carnival” to introduce various aspects of her country.
The opening ceremony was attended by many ambassadors and the Korean media representatives as well as leaders of the Foundation and the artistic circles in Korea.
A total of some 60 photographs and art craft items were on display attracting keen attention from the guests.
Among the artifacts on display were some jewels, necklaces and earring pendants, coming in blue larimar and orange ambar.
Larimar, a semi-precious stone unique in the world, is located in the isolated mountains of the southern region of the Dominican Republic. Because of its intrinsic beauty, it has gradually dominated the international market.
Ambar is a fossilized resin, the residual product of certain prehistoric trees. Millions of years ago, this resign was a sticky fluid. The passing of great lengths of time transformed it into solid, stable and beautiful material.
Standing out from the photographs was “Diablo Cojuelo” Costume.
Speaking to the guests, Ambassador Fiodalicia Pichardo said, “The Carnival, celebrated during the whole month of February in the Dominican Republic, is one of the most significant, lively, colorful and joyous expressions of Dominican culture available, coinciding with the pre-Lenten celebrations held by many Caribbean, Latin American, and European countries.” (See excerpts at end of this Article.)
There were many guests attending the exhibition and reception. They included Ambassadors Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, Zahid Nasrulah Khan of Pakistan, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Dr. Alba Florio Legnani of Uruguay, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine, Guadalupe Palomeque De Taboada of Bolivia, Michel Idiaquez Baradat of Honduras, Elisabeth Bertagnoli of Austria, Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Duishonkul Chotonov of Kyrgyzstan, Yadira Hidalgo de Ortiz of Venezuela (CDA), Jaime Antonio Pomareda of Peru, Gustavo Adolfo Lopez Calderon of Guatemala, Calin Fabian of Romania, Jose Luis Bernal of Mexico, Torbjorn Holthe of Norway, Ganbold Baasanjav of Mongolia, Raul S. Hernandez of the Philippines and Jairo Lopez of Costa Rica (CDA).
From the Korean society came Deputy Director Suh Heon joo of the Korea Foundation, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post and business representatives who included Chairman Tongsun Park from the business circles.
Excerps from the message of Ambassador Fiodalicia Pichardo:
It is a pleasure to have all of you here today, at the Opening Reception for “Our Country, Our People, and Our Carnaval”; a special exhibition showcasing photographs from renowned photographers Juan de los Santos and Mariano Hernandez of the Dominican Republic’s Carnaval, the oldest in the Americas.
Known for our warm and hospitable people, the Dominican Republic is a nation of almost 10 million people located in the heart of the Caribbean on the Island of the Hispaniola, with a rich, vibrant, and mixed culture and history that identifies us and gives us pride, and Carnival is one of many manifestations of our identity.
Carnival, celebrated during the whole month of February in the Dominican Republic, is one of the most significant, lively, colorful and joyous expression of Dominican culture available, coinciding with the pre-Lenten celebrations held by many Caribbean, Latin American, and European countries. Participants show an “upside down world” and freely express their desires, complaints, and fantasies, often portraying satirical images of modern day society in a more open social context before the solemn religious observance of Lent. These celebrations coincide with February 27th, the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day.
Carnival is a physical manifestation of the Dominican spirit, warmth, happiness and passion, expressed through our traditional rhythms “Merengue and Bachata” -both declared as cultural heritage-, shared moments, smiles and laughter. Above all, Carnival provides an opportunity to celebrate the simple gift of being alive and waking up to a new day.
We hope that through Juan de los Santos and Mariano Hernandez’s photographs the Korean public, the International Community resident in Korea, and all of you who have kindly joined us today can become better acquainted with the Dominican Republic through our landscapes, architecture and people, and just as importantly, though our Carnaval.