Korea: Friday 20th March
Korean born Soonie Delap has been living in Ireland for over 25 years and is married to Irish man, Charlie with 3 kids. Welcome to My World sees her return to her home country bringing Carmel McCreagh, her family friend.
Soonie’s life in Korea straddles modern Seoul and traditional Yang Dong.
Soonie grew up in rural Yang Dong which is a village striving for UNESCO World Heritage status to help preserve the traditional way of life in the village. Soonie brings Carmel to visit her old school where she is reunited with school friends she hasn’t seen for 42 years!
Soonie and her family were forced to leave Yang Dong when their house was flooded by the construction of a dam. For Soonie the family move to Seoul was her opportunity to spread her wings, further her education and ultimately leave Korea.
In Seoul Carmel gets a flavour of bustling city life and no family gathering in Korea is complete without a big meal and a karaoke session!
Carmel’s visit to Korea is also her first meeting with Soonie’s mother. Soonie’s mother is 82 and it is hard for Soonie to see the deterioration in her mother’s health each time she visits home.
Finally to fully understand Korea Soonie suggests a visit to the DMZ to witness first hand the sad legacy of the Korean War. It is a sobering and emotional visit for both Soonie and Carmel.