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May 2009

President Roh's Funeral Is Over - An Email Exchange

 

Me: 

Here’s what I watched for about three hours today: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090529/ap_on_re_as/as_skorea_roh_funeral. What was most remarkable was that they made room for five religious ceremonies (two Buddhist sects, Protestant, Catholic – during the funeral; and after that, a 30 minute Korean Shamanistic “performance”)! 

Friend:

Hey, that's the kind of stuff I like to watch. Wow, that was really interesting. I also listened to one of the videos. I've forgotten exactly what I read; I read it a few hours ago; but: That many religious ceremonies--are they including everyone or do they think all religions are the same? I'm impressed how feisty Koreans are. Is that crazy for them to blame the current president?

Me:

I should have given you a link for watching it on the Internet, I guess. It seems that’s what a lot of people did here who weren’t in front of their TVs. I guess they just didn’t want any religion to feel left out; not sure why they went to such effort like that except to avoid charges of religious favoritism. Seems to me that it would have made sense to just have the dead person’s religion represented. Not everyone blames the current president, just the people who think the current ruling party was unjustly persecuting Roh and drove him to suicide. 

Friend:

Concerning the people who blame the current president, if the former president was innocent, why commit suicide??? Even though I can sympathize, I'd be happy at many politicians (liars and tyrants) funerals.

Me:

There always seems to be more than one way to look at everything. Yes, the former president was at least partly guilty, but his supporters point out that the scale of his sins was far less than that of many others but that the current government was persecuting him excessively. Others point out that President Roh’s administration was known to be pretty incompetent all around and until lately, the only success they could claim was to have been clean. Now that he and others were found to be a little dirty, his government lost all credibility. So the insults and counterattacks go on and on…. You might think politicians in the US are at each other’s throats but it seems to be less than most places in the world…

Friend:

I read that he (President Roh) didn't die till at the hospital. What was his condition after the leap?

Me: 

It could be that his life functions stopped at the hospital; I think he lost consciousness long before reaching there though. Apparently there is a 30-minute gap in the timeline though, meaning that his bodyguard didn’t see him jump and it took him 30 minutes to find him…