Saturday, 3 December 2011

20 Oct 2011 - Day 11 in Korea

 I walked to Gwanghwamun Sqaure after a very satifying dinner at Gwanghwamun Jip 광화문집.

King Sejong, The Great

 Armillary Spheres


Rain guage

Wish I understood these...

Leading to the subway station.  Was this also known as the "Sunken Square" as stated in visitkorea?

They brightened up the place ^^

The statue of Admiral Yi
I didn't read up about the history of Korea and had no idea about this statue.   Just before I upload this post, I read about Admiral Yi from wikipedia and came to know that Admiral Yi is considered one of Korea's greatest heroes of all time. Koreans look upon Admiral Yi as a man of courage, perseverance, strength, self-sacrifice, intellect, and loyalty to his country. 
He was a charismatic leader, and was able to maintain his soldiers' morale despite constantly being low on supplies and food, and continuous news of countless Korean losses in ground battles. In some records, it is stated that he went as far as to personally fulfil some of his soldiers' dying wishes. He demonstrated his loyalty to the people by treating them with respect and fighting amongst them even when endangered. Because of this, Admiral Yi became immensely popular among his soldiers and the Korean people, who often provided him with intelligence reports at great risk to themselves.

I teared when I read about Admiral Yi....I think he had a tough but honourable life.   As extracted from wikipedia, Admiral Yi's last words, "나의 죽음을 알리지 마라"-  The war is at its height -- wear my armor and beat my war drums. Do not announce my death..  He told his nephew to wear his armor and to hide his death until the battle is over to avoid demoralizing his men in the middle of battle.
Hmm...I am so curious about the turtle ship, which Admiral Yi was famous for.

I was taking pictures when waters suddenly sprayed up!   It came as a delighted surprise!   When I stepped out of the hotel lift this morning, the entire hotel black out.  I was blur for a moment because I was very lucky it happened just after I stepped out from the lift.   I was really lucky but I hope nobody got enstranged in the other lift...


A cold but beautiful night for me  ^^

I always find the structures of hangul very interesting and appealing.   Never knew it was King Sejong, The Great who created hangul.  I am not sure whether the word "Idol" was appropriate to describe how I felt for this good king but King Sejong became my idol after I had a brief read up on the history of hangul at "The Story of King Sejong Exhibition Hall".  It was really amazing to create such unique characters.   Personally I think King Sejong has succeeded very well because hangul is truly very unique on its own and it creates an unique cultural identity of Korea. 
Yeahh!  I love Korea ^^

As extracted from asiasociety, "the most outstanding of King Sejong's achievements by far was the creation of hangul. Previously, scholars had learned classical Chinese and had relied on the Chinese script for literary purposes, but Koreans did not have an appropriate script for their spoken language. Until the invention of Hangul, they had used clumsy and cumbersome systems that made use of some Chinese characters for their pronunciation and others for their meaning to represent the vernacular language Whilet Chinese is a language very different form Korean in its vocal patterns and sentence formation, it could not represent Korean sounds and structure adequately. Besides, the complexity of Chinese characters made the writing system too difficult for those other than the few privileged to learn and master.

King Sejong wanted to provide Koreans with a written means of expression other than the complicated Chinese system. With this objective in mind, he commissioned a group of scholars to devise a phonetic writing system that would correctly represent the sounds of spoken Korean and that could be easily learnt by all people. The system was completed in 1443.

Initially, the use of Hangul was opposed by many scholars and government officials. They argued that use of Hangul would hinder education and government administration, both of which were dependent on the Chinese writing system. Despite this, however, King Sejong ordered popular poems, religious verses, and well-known proverbs to be translated into Hangul to encourage its use. Hangul was thus a political, in addition to a linguistic, achievement."

Its no wonder there was a Hangul Day to mark the invention and the proclamation of   hangul  ^^

I was never attracted to read about the history of any countries.  I have never thought of checking out this place but somehow...something drawn me there....and I was glad that I did not missed out this place  ^^

Story of King Sejong began ....

King Sejong was born in 1397

King Sejong passed away in 1450.  I may be ignorant of many great things he did for his people but there was no doubt that he had done many things that brought about very positive impacts to Korea.


Trinity of Life : 天,地,人 =  하늘, 땅, 사람  =  Heaven, Earth, Humanity

This is interesting.  The three vowels really look like Heaven(天),Earth(地),Human(人).   I never knew vowels in Korean language were also created based on the Chinese philosophy of life.  재미 있네요

Overeheard some familiar accents beside me..Yup. I saw a few young Singaporeans here. From their conversations, I think they are studying here...extreme envy to the maxxxx....

Omo!! 이게 뭐야?!! I was surprised to see a colorful road ahead of me when I came out from the exhibition hall.  It had been a very delightful night for me  ^^

  Gyeongbokgung Palace just across the road.
Many people were using their tripods to take pictures from across the road. 
I cancelled my plan to visit the nearby Kyobo bookshop because it was getting dark. 
Time to get back to my hotel.

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