Spanish Ambassador Mr. Gonzalo Ortiz invited the former chancellor of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Park Chul and two foreign affairs reporters to a farewell luncheon at his official residence in Hannam-dong on August 1. Mr. Ortiz served as Consulate General at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the same post at Sydney, Australia before serving as Ambassador of Spain to Vietnam. It was October 2014 that he was appointed as Ambassador of Spain to Seoul. Mr. Ortiz has made a lot of effort and contributions in promoting economic, political and cultural cooperation between Spain and South Korea during his term in Seoul and he is going back to his homeland November this year. Park majored in Spanish literature at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, earned Ph.D. in Literature from University of Madrid and achieved a complete translation of Don Quixote 1 and 2 written by one of the greatest Spanish writers Miguel de Cervantes; he received a knight medal from the Spanish government and in 2009 became a permanent member of the Spanish Royal Academy. Mr. Gonzalo Ortiz invited Park to show his gratitude alongside monthly <Power Korea> reporter Jon Kim and <The Korea Post> reporter Hillary S. Kang. <Power Korea> is updating what is going on in foreign embassies every month in its special section ‘Diplomacy & Global’. <The Korea Post> boasts 33 years of history as an influential economic and diplomacy newspaper. When asked about the impressions of Korea, Mr. Ortiz said “Everything was good but Korea’s high educational fervor, transport and advanced technologies are particularly impressive. I’d like to also give credit for Koreans’ responsible and efficient job skills which I believe took a great part in putting the country as the 11th largest economy in the world today.” When asked about the improvements, Mr. Ortiz said “I regret to say that Korean buildings in general seem to lack the charm of architectural value. I visited Jeonju City once and I was enchanted by the unique characteristic of the traditional Korean houses which were rather well mixed with the surrounding city landscapes.” When asked what food has made you wow, Mr. Ortiz said “Kimchi and Bibimbab are excellent” adding “It is interesting to know that the Korean’s use of the word ‘castella (bread)’ in fact originated from the Spanish word ‘castellano’ and also ‘tempura’ from the word ‘tempero’ through the Japanese.” After the lunch, Mr. Ortiz showed us around his residence and it was impressive to see his personal collection of paintings as well as traditional Korean, Indian and Spanish furniture nicely placed every nook and corner without fail. <Power Korea> wishes him health and happiness!
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