North Korea

Varying emotions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 August, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 August, 1994, 12:00am


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I REFER to the report which appeared in the South China Morning Post, on July 19, headlined, ''Frenzied scenes as millions bid farewell to the Great Leader''.

No world leader has ever got such an emotional farewell as Kim Il-sung in North Korea. The streets of Pyongyang were flooded with the tears of an estimated two million people. The normally steely soldiers also wept.

Men, women and children, were overwhelmed and displayed outbursts of hysteria.

Manifestations of emotion vary in different cultures. In Ireland there is the ''wake''. People across the Irish Sea prefer to conceal their emotions.

Easterners are not embarrassed to give vent to their grief. It is spontaneous and genuine. In Hong Kong too we saw the same at the sad demise of the late Mr Cheung Kam-chuen and Mr Daniel Chau.

It is sometimes extreme in some parts of India where people immolate themselves when their popular politician dies.

Dr BABY IPE Causeway Bay