Mr. Vasile Bumacov, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the Republic of Korea, visited Daejeon Metropolitan City.
He presented about Moldovan wine and Moldovan culture in IBS(Institute for Basic Science), Daejeon.
Walkinto Korea had an interview with Mr. Vasile Buamcov to talk about Moldova and Moldovan Culture.
Moldova is not familiar with Korean tourists. Could you simply introduce your country?
Moldova is not a big country, located between Ukraine and Romania. However, we have a very long and rich history.
Before the Roman Empire and during the Roman Empire, we had problems with the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. But now Moldova is an independent country since 1991.
Since the Soviet Union, Moldova is a significant producer of fresh vegetables, fruits, and the quality of wines. But we were an industrial country as well. Unfortunately, our industry was not a big part any more after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the food industry has developed continuously.
Now we export wine, honey, various dried fruits, and walnuts to several Asian countries. Unfortunately, our fresh fruits usually are exported to European countries and western Asian countries.
I appreciate your effort to make Korean people know about our country, which is very important.
The Moldovan wine industry is one of the leading sectors in Moldova. Please tell us about the strength of Moldova wine compare to other European wine.
We indeed have a vast wine industry. We are number one in the world in terms of the percentage of vineyards. Also, Moldova has the most extensive wine collection in the world by the number of bottles, earning recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records.
The cellar stretches for hundreds of kilometers underground.
I can say that Moldovan wines have several advantages.
We are fortunate to have an exceptional terroir, which got from God. We have excellent soil, and also we have perfect climate conditions for growing grapes and making wines. Of course, we have a long tradition. We've producing wines for more than 5,000 years, which is a national tradition.
You can get much high-quality wine, more fruity wine, and much healthier wine for the same price due to the weather conditions.
We don't use very much pesticides and herbicides, which means that Moldova wines are organic. Moreover, we produce a variety of wine so any Moldova wine can fit your tastes.
Many young Korean tourists are very adventurous and open-minded to find a unique destination. Moldova could be one of the potential tourism destinations for Korean tourists shortly. Could you tell us why Korean tourists should visit Moldova?
First of all, we have a particular culture. We are a nation that just speaks Latin origin language. Also, we have diverse and dynamic cultural backgrounds because we have a Slavic neighborhood and even a European community.
We have delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables. Food is a vital culture in my country. I'd say our food culture is not so different from Korean food culture but also diverse.
One of the traditional Moldovan food what Asian people like is a chicken soup with noodles, called Zeama. It is the perfect food for the next day after the party. Also, one of our famous food is Moldovan Cabbage rolls called Sarmale.
Pork, beef, chicken are very popular in Moldova. Notably, we have a delicious lamb in my country as well.
Besides, we have a traditional dessert like dried plums stuffed with walnuts and cream.
You've been in both Korea and Japan during your duty. So I assume that you see the cultural difference between Korea and Japan. Could you tell us about what you feel?
Both are Asian countries, but I can feel the difference between both countries. I think Koreans are a little bit closer to our mentality. We have Latin blood, so we like to discuss and communicate with each other and also open to a new culture. In that sense, I feel Koreans are closer to our mentality than Japanese.
I feel very comfortable when I'm in Korea as people are very kind and more competent at speaking English. Korean culture is prevalent among the younger generation in Moldova. They love Korean TV shows, K-Pop, and others.
Of course, what we can learn from Korea, they made one of the fastest industrial developments. That's why people say Korea is one of the lions of Asia. Most Moldovan people still have Soviet mentality as we were under the Soviet Union regime, now we need to get rid of Soviet thinking.
One crucial thing I want to say about Koreans and Moldovan people, especially young ones, is this. Many people in the world still believe Marxist theory and Communism theory, so we are struggling to get rid of their Communism mentality. It is a big problem for our society. This mentality cant' allow people to develop and live a normal life. People have to learn and understand how dangerous this is, so we need a generation to change this situation and not to make more mistakes in the future.
What's your impression of Daejeon Metropolitan City? What kind of cooperation between Moldova and Daejeon Metropolitan City you can consider?
I was fortunate to participate in the Daejeon international wine Fair last year. Moldova was one of the most significant stands for the Fair. They supported our winemakers together with the support of the USA, who have the most prominent position. Being there, I could communicate with many Koreans. When people drink wine over communication, they tend to become more open.
They showed me a lovely image of Daejeon city. I had a chance to talk to the Daejeon Mayor, and he found him so gentle and kind. Also, I felt people from Daejeon city were very friendly, helpful, and hospitable.
I'm a former Minister of Agriculture. When people ask me about the agriculture industry, I always say that industrial technologies are essential for us. In this situation, you don't need a lot of land and a lot of areas. I think we can do that as young people are very good at IT technology and all these modern technologies.
I think cooperation with IT technologies is one of the most important things to do. As a former Minister of Agriculture, I'm very proud to tell you that the best onion growers in my country are Koreans.
We have enormous land and considerable markets in Europe, so I think cooperation with agricultural technologies could be essential. Of course, winemaking is also very important.
Is there anything else you want to add?
You are helping me so much because my duty is to make more Koreans know about our country. I think through an English media like you spreading information about our country will be very helpful.
Also, we would like to offer Koreans just to help us to develop our economy with excellent condition.
There are many international companies in Korea now, so I will do my best to invite them and suggest the proper conditions to invest in our country.
What we can offer is an economical part like providing cheap qualified laborers.
Our people are not so religious and racists. Also, we offer very healthy and organic food. I think that is also a critical component to invest in.
We are very welcome Koreans to visit and also invest.
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[Map of Moldova]