On a sun-drenched Monday, August 26, the 6th Commemoration Day on which the bond between South Korea and De Rijp is commemorated. This bond is created by the fact that our fellow villager Jan Janszn. Weltevree set foot in Korea in 1627, the first Westener who became a real Korean.
In hotel De Rijper Eilanden the guests were received with a special word of welcome by the Ambassador of teh Republic of Korea H.E. Yun Young Lee, aldermen and deputy mayor of Alkmaar Mr. Marcel van Zon and Prof.Dr. Remco Breuker of Leiden University, historian, specialised in Korean and Northeast Asian affairs. The national anthems of both countries were played.
Professor Breuker delivered a very interesting speech during which we had to imagine ourselves back to the time in which Jan Janszoon Weltevree lived in Korea. It was very special to realise how he learned the language and the culture of that country and coped with the circumstances and challenges there.
Subsequently an impressive Sibpalki demonstration took place, the traditional martial art of Korea, lead by grandmaster Dr. Bok Kuy Choi.
After that a dubbel-decker bus of the hotel was ready to offer the guests a tour through the native region of Jan Janszn., which ended near his statue in the centre of De Rijp. There the ambassador laid a flower arrangement. The day ended with Korean snacks (some offered by the embassy and some made by Esther In Suk), and Dutch herring (sponsored by Mark Sier). This took place in the recently restored Leeghwaterzaal of the beautiful townhall of De Rijp.