From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian
It would be easy simply to describe Koreans as friendly and gracious, or to highlight their earnest desire to make visitors feel welcome. What’s more difficult is to define the driving force behind their warmth.
Jeong is a feeling of devotion, of caring and kinship. It signifies a genuine connection, a fondness for another. It can be a feeling between old friends, or with someone you just met.
If you’re confused, don’t worry: You’ll know it when you experience it at the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul, 28 May-1 June.
Korean jeong will be at the heart of Host Hospitality Night, which allows convention goers to interact with area Rotary members in a more intimate setting. Host Rotarians arrange events, from a casual picnic to an evening of local entertainment. Purchase tickets at www.riconvention.org.
It’s this type of opportunity that makes Rotary conventions special, says Sangkoo Yun, chair of the Host Organization Committee. “I sign up at every convention I’ve been to,” says Yun, who has visited a family home in Sydney, an art gallery in Los Angeles, and a castle in Malmö, Sweden, during past Host Hospitality Nights.
In Seoul, the host committee is organizing hospitality nights on several evenings. Yun especially encourages Rotarians whose clubs have a partner relationship with a Korean club to sign up. Enjoy the Korean hospitality and feel the jeong.
Register for the convention by 15 December for the best rate. Go to www.riconvention.org.