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[Diplomacy] Year-end parties underway in diplomatic circle

[Diplomacy] Year-end parties underway in diplomatic circle

Posted December. 22, 2000 20:39,   


With the year winding down, year-end parties are coming fast and furious at foreign diplomatic missions in Seoul as they make attempts to boost publicity efforts and help expatriates feel at home in Korea.

U. S. Ambassador to Korea Stephen W. Bosworth held a year-end party on Dec. 15, perhaps his last party during his stay in Korea. It was a mammoth gathering attended by not only the diplomatic mission's officials and their dependents but also U.S. Marine Corp servicemen who guard the embassy. Some 400 participants enjoyed the party, wishing each other well and congratulating themselves on another year of overseas service. Amb. Bosworth gave zest to the party by presenting gifts to Korean employees.

The year-end party of the Korea-French circle, noted for doing charity work, was held at the French embassy on Dec. 18. Participants included Korean guests and the wives of foreign diplomats and French embassy officials. Christine Bosworth, the wife of Amb. Bosworth, and some 100 other members of the Korea-French fraternity pledged money and gifts to a nursery organization operated by French missionaries.

The French embassy, however, postponed its year-end party until Jan. 17 next year, after Ambassador to Korea Jean-Paul Reau who is now in France, returns to Seoul.

The German embassy began its year-end functions with an event for children. On Dec. 6, an embassy official disguised as Saint Nicholas distributed cakes to some 100 German children who visited the embassy. The embassy sponsors "Nicholas Day" for the children on the first Wednesday of December, after talking with their parents about desired presents and their behavior throughout the year.

At the Indonesian embassy, the year-end party season began with the end of Ramadan (Islamic fast) from Nov. 27 to Dec. 26. During the month-long Ramadan period, Islamics do not take food during the day time. On the morning of Dec. 27, 500-odd Indonesian embassy officials and residents here will assemble at the embassy dressed in traditional clothes and hold a joint worship service. They will then share a meal and chat with their friends and neighbors. Following the event, they will visit each others' homes to celebrate their friendship.

At the Israeli embassy in Seoul, residents will mark Hanuka. Since Israelis do not celebrate Christmas, the festival is their main year-end event. On that day, the Israelis light candles at every home and celebrate the day of the restoration of their Holy Temple. At all major buildings in their home country, they light the Hanuka Candle, which is made up of nine large candles. The embassy officials use the occasion to promoting understanding and friendship with the Korean people. Avivit Bar-Ilan, second secretary for culture, information, press & science, plans to hold a modest candle party at his home, inviting some of his Korean friends.