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[Opinion] Auspicious Grave Site

Posted November. 07, 2007 07:24,   


A man in his 70s moved the graves of his ancestors to another site, following the advice of a Feng Shui expert. He relocated a total of nine graves including those of his grandparents and great grandparents to a mountain where his parents’ graves lie. This is quite a common practice among Korean families. The old man, who does not have many years to live, must have felt good about taking his ancestors to a better place.

However, it is a completely different story if the senior is a politician with the ambition of becoming president. In the eyes of the public, the praiseworthy descendant dedicated to taking care of his ancestors turns into an ambitious politician who wants to take power by trying every means possible. That is exactly the case with former Grand National Party Chairman Lee Hoi-chang (72). The Feng Shui expert, who also found an auspicious grave site for him, said, “Your new family gravesite is a propitious site which will help one of the descendants become a king.” Kim Dae-jung is also known for being elected president in his fourth attempt after relocating his ancestors’ graves. Although Lee used to criticize Kim for his insatiable desire to become president, ironically, Lee is now facing the same criticism that he made against Kim.

It is easy to witness presidential candidates following the instructions of fortune tellers or Feng Shui experts. Grand National Party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak, who wanted to move to another house, gave up his plan because one of his aides told him that his house is located on a blessed site according to a Feng Shui expert. United New Democratic Party presidential candidate Chung Dong-young sometimes talks about a fortune teller who predicted his winning the primary race. Surprisingly, Lee and Chung are, respectively, a faithful Protestant and Catholic, making us wonder how much atheist candidates would believe in superstitions.

The number of fortune tellers has so dramatically increased that they are now everywhere, even on the streets and the underpasses. A great many young people are fascinated by tarot, which is imported from overseas. However, this is the 21st century. How many people are willing to elect someone, who is easily swayed by the words of fortune tellers, as president? Whatever the excuses Lee makes today when he announces his presidential bid, people will remember that he moved his ancestors’ grave site for a purpose.

Bang Hyeong-nam, Editorial Writer, hnbhang@donga.com