A ceremony to celebrate the National Day of the Republic of South Africa was held on Thursday, 26 April at Grand Ballroom, Millennium Seoul Hilton from 18:30 to 20:30. H.E. Nozuko Gloria BAM, the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa, greeted every single guest with smile and hug at the entrance of the event hall in a traditional costume. She welcomed in her opening remarks the honorary guests including Yoon Kang-hyun, the economic diplomacy coordinator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and gave a special meaning to the occasion that this year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Former President Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013), the icon of the democratic movement of South Africa and a symbol of peace. To celebrate this meaningful day and the year, the South African Embassy in Seoul is planning a number of events in cooperation with the international society and the civil society in Korea. The national day, also known as Freedom Day, celebrates freedom and commemorates the first democratic elections held on April 27, 1994 which were the first time that everyone of voting age of over 18 from all race groups including foreign citizens permanently resident in South Africa were allowed to vote; and the people chose Nelson Mandela as their first democratically elected president of South Africa. Freedom Day thus is a day of glory and remembrance for all South Africans that marks the end of the period of colonialism and Aparthied. BAM also praised the friendly relations between South Africa and South Korea that has steadily grown for the last 25 years and hoped a successful inter-Korean summit and the subsequent establishment of peace in the Korean Peninsula and in the world. On the day, the commemorative coins dealer HyperionGold sponsored 7 Krugerrand gold and silver coins themed on Nelson Mandela Centenary for lucky winners chosen by lot while 9 companies lined up at the entrance to promote wines and beverages. The highlights of the day, however, were South African wines, food, music, dance and especially the fashion show of traditional costumes of South Africa. A group including BAM took the stage to give a group dancing which was unscheduled but was the unmissable spectacular of the day.
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