If you have read others of my North Korea entries you will be aware that monuments to, statues of and murals and pictures of the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il liberally adorn the country. Every city, town, and indeed village, has an assortment of these. I do hasten to add, though, that these items are not on every street corner as some more sensationalist observers like to portray.
While we did not get to see the centre of Hyangsan town, as out hotel was on the outskirts by the river, we did get to see a number of adulatory pieces in the area.
In my review covering the Chongchon Hotel I draw attention to one of the best paintings of the Leaders I saw in the country. Do have a look at that review, if you haven’t already done so.
Outside our hotel – across the road – we were able to see an Eternal Life (Yeong Saeng) monument (pictures 1 & 2) and another monument (picture 3).
The second monument consists of three large slabs of rock inscribed with notable sayings/quotations from, and pictures of, the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, his first wife Kim Jong Suk and his son, the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il.
The Eternal Life monument is typical of that found in all North Korean towns.
Following the death of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, in 1994, his son and successor, Kim Jong-il, ordered the building of Yeong Saeng ( Eternal Life) monuments throughout North Korea. It is thought that some 3000 of these monuments were erected in prominent positions in cities, towns and villages across the country each serving as a reminder, through their main inscription, that the “Great Leader Comrade Kim Il-sung is with us for eternity”. Just as well given that he is the Eternal President of the DPRK.
The monument here is smaller than its similar counterpart in Pyongyang but serves the same purpose.
Citizens are “encouraged” to pay their respects to (worship) the Great Leader at their local monument, either on the anniversary of his death (8 July) or on his official birthday (15 April). The dedicated and truly loyal will, of course, visit on both occasions.
Newly weds often feel inclined to lay flowers on these monuments on their wedding day.
Incidentally, for those interested, in addition to the monument similar to this referred to earlier, Pyongyang has another monument serving the same purpose but on a much grander scale. Refer to my review on the Tower of Immortality.
On leaving the hotel and en route to the glamorous Hyangsan Hotel to pick up a couple from our group who chose to stay there, we passed what is a reasonably common site in North Korea, the mural of the Leaders depicted below.
The large number of flower arrangements is due to the fact that the previous day was the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on my trip to Mt Myohyang, North Korea. I suggest you continue with my next entry – The Pohyon Temple – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – Treasures in the Mountains.