ROK President Park's cultural bond with China

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2014-07-03 16:12:21

ROK President Park's cultural bond with China

File photo of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, June 18, 2014. [Photo/CFP]

ROK President Park's cultural bond with China


Culture insider: Chinese influence sweeps ROK 

ROK President Park's cultural bond with China


Chinese contemporary literature now a hit in South Korea 

SEOUL - No ambition can be made clear without a simple life; no further accomplishment can be achieved without a calm mind.

The famous saying of Zhuge Liang, an outstanding statesman and strategist in ancient China, is the motto of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who thinks one should take desperation as an opportunity even if he or she is suffering hardship.

In fact, it is the wisdom of Chinese philosophers that has helped Park get through the most difficult time in her life.

Park is the elder daughter of former South Korean President Park Chung-hee. After her parents were assassinated in her 20s, many of their friends chose to betray or disregard the family amid criticism against Park Chung-hee.

Being utterly isolated made Park "feel difficult to breathe." At that time, the lighthouse in her life to bring her inner peace is History of Chinese Philosophy written by Feng Youlan, a great Chinese thinker in the 20th century.

In her speech delivered in Tsinghua University during a visit to China in 2013, Park, a fan of ancient Chinese philosophy, revealed how Chinese classical works had helped her get through her pain following the assassination of her parents.

"I read a lot of philosophic and classical works to pass that difficult time. I always wrote down good sentences on my notebook and read through them later. I finally overcame pain to find inner peace and important value of life," she said.

Park, 62, began her ties with Chinese culture since she was born. Looking up in a Chinese dictionary, the Park couple gave their elder daughter a pleasant name -- "geun" means the rose of Sharon, the national flower of South Korea, while "hye" means kindness.

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