My First Lunar New Year in Korea

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68 Comments
I was fortunate over the Lunar New Year break to get to experience some of the traditions surrounding this holiday. Along with General Scaparrotti, I met with Scholar Ha Yeon-soon, Chairman of the Kumgok Academico-Cultural Foundation. He invited us to his house and explained the significance of the various customs as we talked through the different cultural and historical elements surrounding the Lunar New Year holiday. This was a terrific event for the broader U.S. military community and  happens in part because Scholar Ha is a longtime supporter of the U.S. troops.

Enjoyed a great Lunar New Year with my good friends at scholar Ha’s home

Scholar Ha told an interesting story about a U.S. soldier giving him chewing gum years ago. It was the first time he had ever had gum and so he chewed and then swallowed it. The soldier, noticing this, showed him how gum is meant to be continuously chewed rather than swallowed. Scholar Ha took the gum back to his town to share it with the other people in his community. Soldiers like this one made an impact and a lasting impression on Scholar Ha and now he is keen to keep giving  back. It’s a great personal example of the U.S.-ROK Alliance and the significance of people to people ties.

General Scaparrotti and his family also dressed up in traditional Korean hanbok. I am shopping for one for myself, Robyn and Sejun now as I would like to participate the next time. We also listened to a Korean stringed instrument quartet- or Gayageum- that played classic American songs like “My Way” and Korean pop music.  It was really beautiful.

To top off this wonderful experience, Scholar Ha gave me a banner for Sejun written with his elegant brushstrokes in calligraphy wishing him good health.

萬福是膺: Wish you every happiness in the world

Hope all of you had a great Lunar New Year and wish you good health and good fortune!


68 comments:

  1. Dear, Mr. Lippert

    Hello! My name is Jake (Young Jun) An and I'm a sophomore at Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland. I just read about the depressing news and I hope you feel better from this catastrophe. I truly hope you continue more and more new adventures at Korea with your new-born son. I enjoy reading your wonderful stories while you stay in Korea. Recover soon~

    Sincerely,
    Jake (Young Jun) An/ 안영준

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  2. As a citizen of Korea, I would like to deeply apologize for what you have experienced today. Please note that this incident does not represent the opinion of Koreans for you and US. I will pray for you to get well soon! Once again, sorry and thank you for your attitude.
    Sincerely.
    Yeree Park.

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  3. We are so sorry.
    Praying for you.
    Please get well soon.

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  4. Lippert
    Wish your quick recovery and good health.
    Sorry and we love you.

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  5. Hey koreans, the assailant was given a 2 year SUSPENDED sentence for previously attacking another diplomat, who was japanese (hmm.. I wonder why there was so much leniency ?), as per an NYT article on this incident-could you please be bothered to reform your legal/judicial system so as not to allow people with mental problems and a history of violence to roam free ? That would be much better than hollow regret....

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  6. Mr. Lipperts, Im sorry for your tragic accident today. I hope you get well soon.

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  7. Mr Lippert, I'm really sorry about brutal attack against you. As a good ROK fellow, it's really shameful on the terror attact against diplomat. I wish your quick recovery from wounds. I'm moved your brave response after terror attack. Do not forget, every Korean fellow support you and your fammily. Take care and sorry again.

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  9. we are very sorry lipert... sincerly sorry from the heart. ㅠㅠ죄송해요...정말죄송해요

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  10. 대사님한국인으로대신사과드려요
    대사님의상처받은
    몸과마음이꼭
    치유되길바랍니다.

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  11. So sorry about everything and I will pray for you and
    your family
    We all love you

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  12. 미안합니다. 빠른 쾌유를 바랍니다.

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  13. I am very sory to hear today news, I would like to deeply apologize I pray for you get well soon

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  14. 한국민으로써 부끄러움을 느낍니다.. 한국속담에 전화위복이라 말 있는데..대사님에 침착함이 한국민에 깊은 인상을 주었습니다..빠른 쾌유를 빕니다

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  15. Mr. Ambassador,

    I, as a Korean, feel so sorry for the dreadful terror to you and sincerely hope that you would get recovered soon. God will be with you and your family.

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  16. Sorry to hear the news... I hope you to get well. Bless with you and your family!

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  17. I'm thinking of you and your family and praying for a speedy recovery.

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  18. Dear Ambassdor,

    I was shocked with news about terror to you which happend yesterday. I can'can't imagine how surprised and shocked your family felt. I and my family sincerely hope you recover from this horrible accident and look forward to seeing you are coming back to make concrete relationship between us and korea. God bless to you and your family.

    Junhyung.

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  19. Dear Mr. Lepperts
    I really shocked when I heard that news.
    Most of all, take care yourself and I'm also sorry to your family as one of Korean.
    In addition, many Korean care about you please keep this in your mind.
    We'll pray for you !!

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Dear Ambassador
    Im an exchange student in U.S.
    I doubeted my eyes that I was watching real news or fake. I don't know what I have to say. Just sorry and to apologize are not to express my heart even 1%. Everyone is surprised about it. Sincerely I hope you will be recovered ASAP. Almost Koreans are astonished how much you like Korea, and what did you do in Korea such as to make Korean middle name to your son. So this affair will makes you famous, respectable person. You should know everyone encourage you.
    God bless you

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  23. Crazy man following North Korea, our main enemy, hurt our friendly ambassador. I am so sad. and I hope you will get well soon. You are the person who has generosity and doesn't care about terrible things. North-Korea and Crazy man following NK in SK can't break our strong alliance. Go together for collapsing NK!!

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  25. 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다 죄송합니다

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  26. i`m live in seoul, i really want to forward the masage for sorry to you. i was very impressing about your mension"같이 갑시다". i pray to you for always god bless to you.

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  27. Wow, get well soon and you and your family take care and be safe. Senseless.
    TS

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  28. We Korean are very sorry..I am so sad to hear your injury..The terrorist is a crazy radical..I really want Korean government to punish such a psycho immediately. I hope you to get well soon.
    Thank you very much to be here hopeless Korea to work for U.S and Republic of Korea..
    죄송합니다 정말 죄송합니다 빨리 나으세요..

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  29. 같은 한국인으로써 드릴 말씀이 없네요..
    Same as Korean, i have anything to say..

    대신하여 사과드립니다. 죄송합니다.
    Instead, I'm sorry that I have to.

    빠른 쾌유 빌께요 !
    I wish you speedy recovery !

    로버트 대사님, "같이 갑시다 !"
    Ambassador Lippert, "Come with Us !"

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  30. 같은 한국인으로써 드릴 말씀이 없네요..
    Same as Korean, i have anything to say..

    대신하여 사과드립니다. 죄송합니다.
    Instead, I'm sorry that I have to.

    빠른 쾌유 빌께요 !
    I wish you speedy recovery !

    로버트 대사님, "같이 갑시다 !"
    Ambassador Lippert, "Come with Us !"

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  31. Today's incident was disgraceful and utterly unacceptable. It is both shameful and tragic at the same time. I feel that it is embarrassing and shameful, too.
    And I'm deeply impressed with your honorable behavior and kindness. You met the hard situation astride your high horse. I admire how well you treat this situation.
    I wish you guick recovery. Sorry and Thank you. Hope you get better soon again.

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  32. 이렇게 좋은 분이 불미스런 일을 겪게 되어 유감입니다.한국을 너무 사랑하는 당신에게 제가 대신 사과드립니다. 변함없이 한국을 사랑해주시길 부탁드립니다. 우리는 당신을 많이 존경합니다.

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  33. 정말 죄송합니다...
    빠른 쾌유를 빕니다...

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  34. 빠른 쾌유를 빕니다 !
    그 아름다운 마음씨 존경스럽습니다!

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  35. Dear Mr.Lepperts, Sejoon's Dad, We Korean citizen deeply show respect to your generousity. We hope any terror like this would never happen again and hope you to get over the injury ASAP. We will always cheer you up behind. Thank you.
    친애하는 세준 아빠 레퍼트 대사님, 우리 대한민국 국민 모두 당신의 너그러운 관용에 존경을 표합니다. 앞으로 이러한 일이 절대 발생하지 않기를 진심으로 소망하며 조속한 시일 내에 쾌차하시기를 바랍니다. 항상 당신의 뒤편에서 응원하고 있겠습니다. 감사합니다.

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  36. 빠른쾌유를빕니다..

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  37. 정말 죄송합니다. 빠른 쾌유를 바랍니다.

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  38. 빨리 쾌차하시길 바라고 큰 상처를 입었지만 그보다 큰 대한민국 국민의 마음을 가진걸로 조금이나마 위로가 되셨으면 좋겠습니다.화이팅!!!

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  40. Mr.Lepperts. I deeply feel sorry for the incident happened yesterday, You should know 99% of Korean support on the all of great jobs of American and G.I and regard the man who did this to you as insane freak. Hope you get well soon . God will be with you.

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  41. 쾌유를 빕니다 대사님! 댓글 남기려고 구글에 가입까지 하게되었네요 우리는 항상 대사님을 감사하게 생각하고있습니다 힘내세요

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  42. Deeply moved by your grace, Mr. Lippert. We are all shocked and sorry for what happened. Please get well and come back soon for more Bulgogi!

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  43. As one of korean, I don't know how I can express my deep sorrow about your accident caused by terrorist. most of korean hope your wounded body and mind would be completely cured.
    we all feel sorry especially for the fact that you are the person who made a great effort to make korea safe and happy and kora and US alliance firm. but I just want you to know that the terrorist's hometown is Jeolla province which is famous for anti-US and many crimes.
    the criminal who commited a terror with knife to president Park a few years ago is also a person whose hometown is Jeolla province.
    so I want to let you know that the ordinary korean citizen worry about you and like you.please take care and come back like terminator in movie

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  44. 리퍼트씨 죄송해요 이런 일을 겪게해서.... 그리고 댓글에 특정 지역을 비난하려는 일부 몰지각한 것들의 추태를 용서해주시길.. 쾌차하시는 걸 온 국민이 바라고 있습니다. ㅠㅠ

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  45. Brother.... I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry...

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  46. 대사님! 빠른 쾌유를 기도합니다. 미안합니다
    I hope you will get better soon, i prayer you and your family and i love you. thank you.

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  47. Im sorry. I feel so terrible and most Koren also feel same as i do. Please do not forget we really like you.

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  48. 그만 하시기에 천만다행이라고 생각합니다.
    저들은 자기들이 저지른 만행으로 더욱 궁지에 몰리게 되었고,
    오히려 대한민국을 향한 대사님의 진심이 더욱 널리 퍼지는 기회가 되었습니다.
    빨리 완치되도록 기도하겠습니다.

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  49. Mr. Ambassador, as a US citizen, I am horrified by this tragic event. I wish you a speedy recovery and peace as you overcome any fears or stress from this incident. I am certain you know the Korean people are peaceful, kind, and generous. Please take measures to protect yourself and your family for individuals or groups that wish to do harm to those who represent the US are everywhere in this world. God bless and our prayers are with you. I served as a US soldier and US government employee in Korea for many years. I have always felt safe there.

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  50. Lippert 대사님, 건강하시길 바랍니다. 아픔은 스쳐가는 바람처럼 지나가기를...

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  51. Ambassador Lippert,

    My name is Matt Ehlers, and I am an American citizen who teaches English in Gwangju. I was shocked and saddened to hear about what happened to you on Thursday morning, but was relieved to hear that you were recovering well.

    Get well soon!

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  52. 같은 한국인으로서 참으로 부끄럽고 죄송하다는 말씀을 드립니다.
    그 뉴스를 보고 정말 어처구니없고 황당했습니다.
    정말로 죄송합니다.
    부디 아무일 없이 쾌차하시고 마음의 평온을 얻으시길 바랍니다.
    정말 정말 죄송합니다.

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  53. 친애하는 리퍼트 대사님

    이번 개인 친북 세력 테러로  피해를 입으셔서 안타깝지만
    다행히 큰일없이 잘 회복하셔서 기쁩니다.

    이번 일로 리퍼트 대사님의 한국에 대한  큰 애정을 많은 사람들이 알게 되었고
    북한이 기대하는것과 달리, 한-미 동맹은 더욱 견고해질 것입니다.

    앞으로 경호에 좀더 유의하시고 더 큰 활동 부탁드리며 많은 지지 보내드리겠습니다.

    - 리퍼트 대사님을 지지하는 수많은 한국민의 한사람으로서 -

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  54. Dear. Ambassador Mr. Lippert

    I feel sorry for the pro-North Korea man's terror

    but we all koreans are happy to hear you get well without big hurt.


    Ironically, this incident made more people got to know about your big affection and devotion to Korea.

    Also, on the contrary to North Korea 's intention, the relationship between South Korea and USA will be closer and stronger.


    Please get protected by security guards , with more diverse activities in korea.

    We koreans will always give you big support and affection.

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  55. 매일매일 뉴스를 보며 리퍼트씨의 건강을 걱정하고 있어요ᆢ미안합니다ᆢ 그리고 감사합니다ᆢ
    당신은 인품과 인격은 많은 사람들에게 귀감이 되고 사랑받을겁니다 ᆢ 사랑합니다 리퍼트씨ᆢ
    빠른쾌유와 더불어 건강한 얼굴로 다시 대한민국 국민들 앞에 우뚝 서 주세요ᆢ

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  56. http://lippertsinkorea.blogspot.com/2015/03/my-first-lunar-new-year-in-korea.html

    Dear. Mr. Lippert,

    Wish for yr quick recovery, kindly adding that we, most of the Koreans, do not agree w/ comments by a separist that we are splitted by the region where we live. We are all of the same country man like yr country USA are. Sorry for the mistake by the psycopath. LETS GO TOGETHER.

    Sincerely,
    Terrance Kim, Seoul



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  57. 한국을 사랑하셨던 분이 이런 일을 당해서 너무 안타깝게 생각합니다. 부디 빠른 쾌유와 건강을 기원드립니다. ~~

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    Replies
    1. 리퍼트 대사님, 빠른 회복을 진심으로 빕니다.

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  58. Ambassador Rippert:
    I'm a retired teacher from a high school in Kyungnam Province recntly. Awfully sorry about what happened around you at a gathering in downtown Seoul. By all accounts, you are a trailblazer of public diplomacy, a new trendy nomenclature, that directly communicates with the general public where your embassy stations on. As your predecessors Kathleen Stephens & Sung Kim, I'm convinced you also love Korea and Korean people including thins Korean. You yoursellf show American friedship, alliances, generosity as your Daddy & Mom on CNN interview. Thanks and sorry again. Hope everything goes well, and get better soon!

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  60. Dear Mr. Lippert, I am an high school student at Busan, Korea. I heard the news while studying at my school and I felt very sorry for you since you've been making every effort to enhance and foster the political bond between Republic of Korea and the United States of America. I can't deny that some South Koreans are following North Korea and are opposed to United States, but it's only a very small minority of the whole nation. Most of the South Koreans feel very sorry with your accident and are being furious with the notorious terrorist. Once again, not as a mere student but as one of the nation of our state, I feel very sorry with your accident, and I sincerely hope your quick recovery. Get well soon!

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