Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
Draped in an elegant saree, South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook soaked in Diwali festivities in Ayodhya much to the delight of the people of the pilgrim town.
From the moment she arrived in Ayodhya on Tuesday till she departed, local people, especially the youth, applauded and cheered her at the multiple events she attended, along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Jung-sook flew in a special chopper from Lucknow that landed near the Ram Kath Park around 2:30pm.
She began her Ayodhya tour by offering tributes at the Queen Heo Memorial.
Accompanied by Adityanath, she attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the upgrade and beautification of the memorial dedicated to the legendary Ayodhya princess who went to Korea and married a king there in 48 AD.
Jung-sook later went to attend festivities at the Ram Katha Park, where she was greeted by artists donning the avatar of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, who arrived at the park in a ceremonial chopper as part of the "Ram Durbar".
Kim garlanded "Sita" as they got off the helicopter while the state Governor Ram Naik and Adityanath welcomed "Lord Ram" and "Laxman".
At the venue, Jung-sook arrived wearing an elegant green saree and greeted the people on the dais and in the crowd with folded hands, sending people into raptures.
In her address at the park, she recalled the historic ties between India and Korea and said she prayed for prosperity of both the countries, as they move towards a future of peace and prosperity together.
In her speech, Jung-sook also mentioned Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, and said, "There is an Indian adage that sharing happiness multiples it. I am very happy to celebrate Diwali in Ayodhya with all of you."
Later, she was treated to a dazzling display of over three lakh earthen lamps on the ghats of the Saryu river, besides a spectacular sound and light show.
"Darkness cannot defeat light and if we all light up lamps together, we can remove any darkness," Jung-sook said in Korean at the Ram Katha Park event.
She also performed a ceremonial 'aarti'.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed delight that the Korean First Ladu wore a saree and also tweeted pictures of her from the event.
Kim, in her speech at the park, thanked Modi for inviting her to India. Kim's stand-alone visit to India, which began on November 4, has rekindled interest in the legendary princess who married a Korean king.
According to Korean legend, the Princess of Ayodhya went to Korea in 48 AD and married King Kim-Suro.
A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to this legendary princess, who is known as Queen Heo Hwang-ok.
A visit to Taj Mahal in Agra on Wednesday is the last stop in Kim's itinerary before she flies back to Seoul.
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