Snow in Daeso

I come from a country where snow is a rare commodity, thus the snowfall in Daeso where I was living was magical.  Daeso is a small town (its name even means that!) south of Eumseung, the city where BanKi-moon, UN Secretary-General, was born.   That morning early I hurried through the snow-laden streets, photographing everything I saw.  I share some images here.

In the garden of the Catholic Church – dreamy, otherworldly
Yi Sung-sin, great admiral, looking over the primary school playground
Civil War monument

This is the monument to those from Daeso who died in the Civil War (1950-1953).  Below the tall black monolith there is a relief of heroic figures.  On top of the apartment building in the background there are sirens which may be used in the event of an attack from North Korea.  A formal peace between the two countries was never brokered.  They are still in a state of ceasefire.

This figure of Yi Sung-sin you see in a number of places.  He is the great historic admiral who is credited with inventing, in the East, the modern battleship.  In the early 1590s a handful of such battleships routed the entire Japanese navy and delivered Korea from yet another invasion of the peninsula by the Japanese.  On that snow-filled morning he presided over a playground of frolicking children, a generation that has not known war.

Winter lion

I found it fascinating that the Lion is a  figure you find all over Korea, the “intrepid spirit”, a schoolboy explained to me with the help of a computer dictionary.  Here this African icon is covered with snow as it keeps guard over the primary school children throwing snowballs,  close to Yi Sung-sin.


This kind of shelter, decorative and slight, you see all over the East.  The Koreans, if I understand correctly, call it a jonya.   It struck me the more with its snow cap.

Daeso snow tree
Snow branches

I couldn’t stop staring at this tree, feeling somehow that I was hallucinating.

Will van der Walt ©

February, 2008

Image Source: Photographs by Will


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