SEOUL – Czech Ambassador awarded Honorary Citizenship
01.11.2012 / 08:19
Seoul Metropolitan Goverment conferred Honorary Citizenship upon Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Korea H.E. Mr. Jaroslav Olša, jr. for his contribution to the cultural development of the capital city of the Republic of Korea.
On October 29 2012 Hon. Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul conferred the title of Honorary Citizen upon H.E. Jaroslav Olša, jr., Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Korea. He has received his Honorary Citizenship certificate together with another ten recipients during the “2012 Honorary Citizens’ Day Ceremony,” which took place at Sejong Hall, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts.
Hon. Mayor Park Won-soon is giving Seoul Honorary Citizens´ medal to Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr.
Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr. (see his CVhere) has been awarded this meaningful title for promoting Czech-Korean cultural activities, his active participation at preparation of 2009 Days of Seoul in Prague and 2011 Prague Days in Seoul as well as his donation of old Czech historical materials on Korea to Seoul Museum of History.
Once a year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government conferres Honorary Citizenship of Seoul upon international residents in recognition or their contributions to the development of Seoul and the local community, promotion of Korean culture around the world and also being a role model to Seoul citizens as well as other foreign residents. Awarded are also those foreigners who make significant contributions to expanding the basis for far-reaching international exchange and developing Seoul as a leading global city, as well as to foreign heads of state (as yet twelve of them), top government officials, including Mayors of twin cities, and diplomats, as a means of acknowledging their personal contributions and enhancing cooperative ties.
Since 1958 exactly 677 foreign residents including foreign dignitaries visiting Seoul have been conferred with Honorary Citizenship of Seoul, of these some 100 honorary citizens still reside in Korean capital city. By nationality a quarter of all recipients are Americans, and another quarter consists of personalities from six countries – Japan, Germany, China, Britain, France and Canada.
The honor has been received by many famous personalities such as Guus Hiddink, former coach of Korean soccer team which reached World Cup semifinals in 2002, actors Jackie Chan and Roger Moore of James Bond fame, President of International Olympic Committee Juan Anthonio Samaranch, Nobel-award winning writer Pearl Buck, independence fighter Helen Ahn and US Olympic medalist of Korean origin Sammy Lee. There are also some diplomats on the list, such as Philip Habib, US diplomat who served on Korean peninsula, but who was one of the leading personalities behind the Lebanese peace talks, or Christopher Hill, former US Assistant Secretary of State, US representative in Six-Party Talks, but also Ambassador to Iraq. There are, indeed, also many other recipients who are not so well known, but they have humbly and quietly devoted themselves to Seoul´s culture, welfare, education, etc.
Hon. Mayor Park Won-soon and Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr.
Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr. is the third Czech who was awarded the Honorary Citizenship. In 2002 it was conferred upon leading Czech Koreanist, Vladimír Pucek, who – among others - spent a couple of years teaching at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and in 2005 upon former Mayor of Prague Pavel Bém, while on his official visit to Seoul.
More about Seoul Honorary Citizenship rules and regulations: