Friday, September 25, 2009

Queen Seondeok

Queen Seondeok is a popular Korean drama series being aired by MBC in South Korea. The story is obviously about Queen Seondeok, one of the few female monarchs in the Korean history.

I must praise the script-writer. The story is very interesting and draws my attention. The twists & turns are all so natural and full of surprises.

In terms of photography, this drama has the typical character of Korean dramas, which is attention to details, and beautiful scenes. Well, that's if you look at it the positive way; if you look at it the negative way, you may say the pace is way way too slow. It takes a long time to complete some small little things.

The drama is still being aired in South Korea. The latest episode is episode 36, which still has a long way to go to the end. Our Queen Seondeok is still only Princess Deokman at the moment.

Something interesting is that almost all Korean history-themed dramas inevitably have to mention China. Pleasing the Chinese envoys is always a big and important task & event in the Korean court, whether it was during the three kingdoms' period or under a unified Korea. Both Queen Seondeok and her successor King Muyeol spent quite a number of years living in China. And the senior officials in the Korean court had to master the Chinese language.

And in the drama, all the communications such as letter, notes, historic records, etc, are all in Chinese.

It is obvious that China and Korea had very close ties in the past. Koreans used to be proud to be able to read and write and speak Chinese. It is such a big contrast today that South Korea is trying to distance herself from China and severe all the past ties. One such incident the change of the Chinese name of the capital of South Korea, Seoul. All the time Seoul is referred to in Chinese as HanCheng (汉城). This name is inherited from Seoul's ancient name of HanYang (汉阳). But then the current president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak, changed its Chinese name to Shou'er (首尔), the purpose is to get rid of all Chinese influence.

If he really wants to get rid of all Chinese influence, why doesn't he just burn down all the old palaces and temples all over South Korea? Look at any of the palaces and temples, Chinese characters are everywhere. Please, accept the fact that China and South Korea used to have close ties. If we don't have that close ties anymore, find out the reason and restore that tie. It is good for both countries, good for the whole world.

History should not become a weapon for the benefit of some mean politicians.

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