South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook celebrates Diwali in Ayodhya, revives links of Queen Heo
South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook attended ceremonies and welcomed artistes dressed as Lord Ram and Goddess Sita as part of Diwali festivities along with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in the temple town on Tuesday.
Kim began her tour by offering tribute at the Queen Heo Memorial and attending a ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrade and beautification of the memorial.
According to Korean legends, Princess Suriratna of Ayodhya had travelled to Korea and married King Kim Suro and became Queen Heo Hwang-ok in 48AD.
A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to the legendary princess, who is known as Queen Heo Hwang-ok.
“The legend of Queen Heo Hwang-ok binds the two countries together culturally, and her visit will further promote our people-to-people ties,” a senior official at the cultural wing of the South Korean Embassy in India told PTI.
Huge hoardings, bearing the message ‘South Korean First lady Kim Jung-sook - Welcome to Ayodhya‘ and her picture, have been put up across the city.
Kim went to the banks of the Saryu river to welcome artists donning the avatar of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, who arrived at Ram Katha Park in a ceremonial chopper as part of ‘Ram Durbar’.
She garlanded ‘Sita’ as they descended from the helicopter and Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik and Adityanath welcomed Lord Ram and Laxman by garlanding them.
Kim had arrived in India on Sunday on a four-day visit, during which she has already met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
An agreement regarding the Queen Suriratna Memorial Project was signed to facilitate upgrade and expansion of the existing monument commemorating Princess Suriratna (Queen Hur Hwang-ok).
In July, the two countries signed the agreement for expansion of the Suriratna memorial project.
Bihar governor Lalji Tandon, South Korean envoy Shin Bongkil and Union minister V K Singh also took part in the celebrations.