Monday, August 20, 2007

Wishing upon a star...for all of us ^^

Surprise-parties are more fun for the ones, who're arranging it - ha ha..someone better watch out! Thank you again to all of you for making this birthday really special !!

This pic is from around my 1-year birthday - after arriving in Denmark in August 1968. I'm in my grandmother's garden with my mum, holding me.

This picture of my 1-year 'birthday party' could have, should have, would have.. been different, if life's patterns had been, would have, might have... - but then again - what can I do? Though it causes an unconcious sense of belongingness and familiarity for me to physically be present among Koreans in Korea, I still wonder - should I meet Korean relatives one day (soon?) - whether I would feel a similar bond and feelings of love which I can see exists in my mother when she sits with little me in my grandmother's garden..

Now - after 4 weeks of Korea - in my breath, my sight, my ears, my senses and my heart - temples, cultural sights, mountains, precious haegum and kayagum lessons, Korean planning-schedules-changing-letting-go-go-with-the-flow, IKAA Gathering and colourful moments, the look in someone's eyes in Korea for the first time, while on the bus driving through landscapes of Korea or the feeling in the Seoul Race Park hall when the first-lady speaks words of wisdom and inspiration straight to all of us as adoptees..or when the 'boys' smile flappergasted at the whirling violin-Bellatrixes - well, my heart just becomes like a soft, happy *puppy* - grateful to be part this international network, to be sharing these moments with so many great people.

I look at pictures of myself from these past weeks in Korea and though hours of sleep were less and veggie food was less and the emotional body got more than enough exercise ; ) However - I look really happy and free from within - and - then I realize..this goes for all of us!!! just look at pictures of yourself from at home and from when in Korea ^^ I'm sure you're your shining best in the Korea pics!

One of my friends just wrote about the urge for a regular 'shot of Koreaness' :) Agree - Don't underestimate the freedom one feels after even a few days on kimchi and socializing with adoptees from around the world, learning hangul, making ricepaper boxes, whatever.. as long as it's personal experiences of Korea in Korea with Koreans.

I guess there are lots of issues, personal or within the international adoptee community, we need to grow to accept - one of them being the many taboos and lack of understanding about 'adoptees' in our adoptive countries and in Korea as well!

But after this IKAA Gathering - I am assured that with every Gathering to come, we'll find new ways to keep developing our growing international community and the resources we all represent!

I'm wishing upon a star..for all of us ^^

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Seoul moments

Sunday, August 12, 2007

From Seoul to Gangwon-do for music lessons

In this beautiful scenery the yearly music summer camp was held by Jeonggaakhoe and I was invited to join for lessons in haegum and kayagum. Needless to say - I loved it!

To Chun sonsengnim, Sung Hee sonsengnim, Hyang Hee sonsengnim, Sung Ah sonsengnim and to "birthday nori namcha superman" and to daegum sonsengnim, who taught me to play Korean cards - Thank you for your dedication to keeping Korean traditional music alive - and thank you for making me feel at home with you. Looking forward to see you all in Denmark sometime soon.

And this picture shows the dreams and goals of 23 music students, whom I wish all the best.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Celebrating Liselotte Haejin - 10 years of volounteering as chair-woman of Koreaklubben and IKAA vicepresident since 2004

It's always lovely to celebrate the work and life of someone dear and respected and today the IKAA Gathering held the official ending speeches and... surprised Liselotte Haejin with a video greeting put together by the innovative and ever caring Charlotte Yong San. Standing ovations were in place as we all recognised this 'little big woman'.

and the post as chairman of the Koreaklubben is passed on to the successor, Lars Munsu :)also known as captain of the soccer team - Go Denmark Go!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Art Gathing Kyung Hee University, Seoul

Active artists among the international Korean adoptees network were represented at the Art Gathering at Kyung Hee University, Seoul. Many expressions seemed to me to be born out the life long process of (re)constructing one's own personal history - without being reduced to the works of art of adoptees. The represented works included the insights and transformations of the artists, making this Art Gathering a resourceful art expression with represented works of video artists, painters, photographers and architects.

Ender Gelgec, Turkey made this piece and to me it was an emotional and thought provoking experience to sit in front of all these papers - which had the connotation to me as adoptee of being files, cases with numbers on orphans. Paper still carries the past to those reading it in the present. Paper is still one of the strongest medias, because it occupies physical space and thus represents bodies in time and place. So many children, so many mothers and fathers.. the work offered a chair into which one could sit and be confronted with this wall of papers, files, notes...

Another was a mesmerizing video work by Unn Fahlstrøm, Norway, which stirred the need to see more, to know more, to find out the bigger picture that is thought to be present behind..the tiny window view of something recognisable yet unknown keeps the mind occupied, looking for meaning for the bigger picture.. just like adoptees growing up looking for answers and a place for our roots to grow strong..seeing small glimpses of one self in the mirror and a face of Korean descent yet not knowing the whole picture..

Birthday surprise party

Thank you to Charlotte Yong San for arranging a surprise birthday party de luxe in the ball room at Sofitel - with cake and fun! Thank you to long time friends, new found friends and also to musicians of Jeonggaakhoe and Mee Rim and Ko for celebrating with me.

Strange how the mind works..I was lured into thinking there was an important meeting regarding a crisis situation so I was not in my socializing mood when I was literally pushed through the door to the ball room...

and I noticed that when the mind is surprised with circumstances so very different from what is expected

the mind reacts with denial and confusion :)
and then the mind starts trying to make sense
and then it just goes empty.

"No No - my birthday isn't until Monday" and then on to thinking others had gotten something mixed up (it was another participant's birthday today).

But after some long long minutes I could feel my legs again ( hahaha ) and I am thankful that everyone came and celebrated with me!!

ps. reminded again that thinking I was turning 40 does not apply when in Korea - my Korean age is 41... greeeaat I am now officially grown up - ...

First Lady of South Korea speech at opening ceremony IKAA Gathering Seoul

Last IKAA gathering in 2004, which was held in Seoul, South Korea, was the first official international event held by adoptees in this country which is where we were born. At the opening in 2004 the first lady of South Korea came in person and held a speeech and this year she had sent a video speech and the viceminister of Social Health and Welfare gave a speech in person. Other presidents of organisations e.g. Overseas Koreans Foundation also held opening speeches which witnessed of a strong emotional, rational and open hearted understanding of the lives of us, the international Korean adoptees. I have a video clip of the video clip and will upload asap.

I do have a picture of the participants from 15 countries though I don't think my camera was able to fit us all in.