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An online magazine about Korean culture, food and hallyu based in Toronto, Canada

A Great Honour – Tea and Lunch with the Korean Consulate

While much of the articles on Life’s an Adventure 2 over the past couple of weeks has focused on the recent K-pop and Korean indie concert we had in Toronto, it wasn’t the only amazing thing to happen. The concert did dominate my writing and thoughts and I ended up writing more articles about it than I have of any single topic (five articles before, two after and there are a couple of spin-off articles coming soon). Why? I love Korean music and would absolutely LOVE to see more live Korean music – both K-pop and Korean indie – in Toronto. So I promoted the concert – a lot! And I’ll do the same for any and all future Korean concerts in Toronto. :) Okay, for pretty much any Korean event in Toronto!

But as much as I love Korean music and had fun writing all the articles – and of course, attending the concert – something even more wonderful happened last week. And it’s time to share what it was. I was afforded a great honour – along with another blogger, Alex (who has recently written about our honour and has a fabulous blog over at Alex on the Loose). She’s a fellow contributor to The Korea Blog and has recently returned to Toronto from Korea.

So what was the honour?

Alex and I were invited to the Korean Consulate in Toronto to meet (and have tea) with the Consul General, Kwang-Kyun Chung, and two other Consular officials before going to lunch with them. That’s right, I had tea and lunch with the Korean Consul General! It was an amazing honour!

A photo of us with the Korean Consul General Kwang-Kyun Chung

How did this happen?

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a Consular official inviting me to lunch at the Consulate. I of course, immediately said yes and quickly arranged to have the time off work. Now I spend a lot of time at the Korean Consulate as I take Korean classes there once a week but when I arrived for lunch I was taken into a part of the Consulate I’d never been. I knew the building is a historic one and I have always admired the gardens but the Consul General’s office was beautiful. 

I will admit I was a little nervous about meeting the Consul General but he was very friendly and immediately put us both at ease. It was also a treat to meet the two Consular officials who were super nice and to briefly speak with another Consular official who I’ve chatted on Twitter with. It’s always great to put a face to a name!

We briefly chatted with the Consul General over tea in his office – so cool, definitely going into my book of memories as one of my neatest moments!! I can’t help bragging just a little about it because it was quite an honour. Over tea, we found out that we’d been invited for lunch with the Consul General to thank us for our blogging about Korean culture. Now I love it when someone tells me they enjoy my blog but when someone official does, wow… I don’t have the words (and I’m a writer). So I’m going to borrow Alex’s word because it rings true. It was humbling!

After taking some pictures, one of which you can see above and another is on the Consulate’s Facebook page, we were driven to Koreatown for lunch at Arisu. Which is a great Korean restaurant by the way and the place were I held Say Kimchi’s Christmas party. But I digress. We were treated to a fabulous lunch of bibimbap (비빔밥, mixed rice and veggies with beef, egg and gochujang), bulgogi (불고기, marinated barbecued beef) salad, japchae (잡채, sweet potato noodles stir-fried with veggies) and of course kimchi and other delicious banchan (반찬, side dishes). It was all so delicious, if you have a chance, I definitely recommend checking out Arisu. Fabulous food, friendly people and a great space downstairs for parties or meetings.

Over lunch, they told us about some of the exciting events that are planned for 2012. The lovely part was we were invited to all the upcoming events and they promised to stay in touch with us as they want us to continue being “unofficial Korean ambassadors”. So amazing!! I’m so excited to continue writing about Korean events in Toronto and to helping promote Korean culture here.

All in all, it was a truly wonderful honour. To put it in context, my grandmother doesn’t understand blogging – or writing for free – at all but she was certainly proud when I told her I was invited to have lunch with Consul General Kwang-Kyun Chung!

2 Comments

  1. I met the Japanese Consul General last year accidentally. I was making paper cranes as a fundraising project for the Japan earthquake victim and he just happened to be there. He even taught me how to make Japanese style paper crane. Though to be invited by the Consul General is definitely a great honour.

    Did you get a chance to practice your Korean with the officials or were you folks conversing mostly in English?

    • Our tea and lunch was mostly in English but I, of course, bowed and said 안녕하세요 (hello). But I was too nervous at the beginning to say more in Korean.

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