Korean legacy has poured into the Yucatan Peninsula.
If you live in the north of Mérida, in the Altabrisa area, you must have seen already an almost 20 feet tall light blue statue, but do you know the meaning of it?
Last week, March 16, 2021, the city government and the South Korea ambassador have inaugurated the sculpture named: Greetingman.
was made by the Korean artist Yoo Young-Ho (whom also was present on the inauguration of the statue) and has been formally placed on the Avenue Republica de Corea (Korean Republic) in the Altabrisa area, the sculpture is accompanied with a plate with a message referring to the friendship between South Korea and Mexico, specifically with the Yucatecan people.
The meaning of this sculpture according to Yoo Young-Ho: “The first thing you do when you see another person is to greet, that means the greeting is the first step on every relationship, it is the beginning of all communication”
This naked man represents mankind and no race in particular; it is painted in light blue because according to the artist “when people see this light blue, they might feel happiness and light” that is the reason why I like this color.
This statue is not the only one (although it is to Mérida and the citizens)!
“Greetingman” was donated by the Korean government and it is a project with a series of sculptures installed in several places in the world, it started on 2012 with the first placement in Montevideo, Uruguay.
That is the reason why you can find the “Greetingman” in the border between South and North Korea, Panamá, Ecuador, Vietnam, the border between Israel and Palestine and now in Mérida.
Why Mérida? You may ask.
To put it in context: in 1905 a group of 1,033 people fleeing South Korea after the Japanese invasion, arrived to Yucatan with a promise of a better life and progress that didn’t end up the way they thought… but that’s a story for another article!
Mérida´s City government and the Korean people have confirmed their mutual commitment to continue working and developing projects that benefit Merida but also the Korean community that has made this city their home. Korean culture is one of the most influential cultures in Mérida with over 2,000 families in the city and over 5,000 in the state of Yucatán, all of them descendants of the original immigrants.
Please let us know if you would like to know more interesting and historical things about Mérida and the Yucatán. Thanks for reading.
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