Ambassadors, spouses of the ambassadors, senior diplomats and foreign media Seoul Bureau chiefs from Uruguay, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Portugal, Chile, Malaysia, Germany, Russia and the United Nations visited the Hamyang County of Gyeonsangnam-do Province on Oct. 15 on a one-night-two-day tour to inspect the famed Insanga Bamboo Salt Plant and its Health Promotion Estate.
It was a dreary, long bus ride for nearly four hours to Hamyang and another four hours on the way back, but the tour was more than worth the trouble they took. This was because were a lot of revelations, especially the production procession of the rare Bamboo Salt, which was roasted in a kiln nine times before the birth of the Bamboo Salt which, therefore, was 121 times the price of the premium table salt of leading Korean food companies.
The welcome ceremony was held at the Main Conference Room of the Insanga Estate hosted by Chairman Kim Yun-se of Insanga and attended, from the Korean side, by Vice Mayor Kim Jong-Yeon of Hamyang County and Vice Chairman Yu Sung-Hak of the Hamyang County Council (on behalf of the mayor and Council chairman who were on an urgent business trip to China) and a number of other leaders of the County and Province.
Attending the ceremony from the Diplomatic Corps were Ambassador Alba Rosa Florio Legnani of Uruguay, Ambassador and Mrs. Pham Huu Chi of Vietnam, Mrs. Anna Menkveld (spouse of the ambassador of the Netherlands), Mrs. Rosanna Bellolio Pasini (spouse of the ambassador of Chile), Mrs. Marina Quintero Nobre (spouse of the ambassador of Portugal) with her daughter, Economic Counsellor Muhammad Nizam Ashary of Malaysia, Acting Representative Ms. Zamira Ashirova of the UN Project Office on Governance, UN NGO Peace Ambassador Ferdinand Renz for Germany, and Seoul Bureau Chief Valeri Ogai of the Rossiyskie Koreitsy Russian News Agency.
The attendance of ambassadors was very small compared with other tours and this was because of the sports delegations from many countries visiting the Winter Olympic Games sites in Pyeongchang whom they were required to accompany and also because of many other appointments that had been postponed to October from the last spring due to the tragic case of Sewol Ferry that forced almost all the events to be cancelled.
In this situation, the spouses of some ambassadors beautifully represented their country as well as their husbands taking part in the tour in their place, namely Mrs. Anna Menkveld (the Netherlands), Mrs. Rosanna Bellolio Pasini (Chile) and Marina Quintero Nobre (Portugal). Participation in such was definitely a work, a hard work at that, introducing and promoting the understanding and friendship between their countries and the local Korean people who are the ‘real Koreans’ compared with the ‘cosmopolitant’ Koreans in Seoul and other big cities. In the opinion of many Koreans, they fully deserved a reward or commendation from their governments for the work performed beyond the call of duty. Especially in the case of Mrs. Menkveld, her government owed her much in that a number of local media interviewed her during the tour where she had her country known to the Korean people that much more.
Back at the welcome ceremony, Chairman Kim gave his welcome speech, where said: “The Bamboo Salt is made with natural salt collected from the salt farm on the beach of the West Coast where the salt is sun-dried. The naturally sun-dried salt is put into tubes of thick-stemmed bamboo that grows in the clean environment at the foot of the Jiri Mountains. Then they are roasted nine times inside a kiln. So it is a premium health salt.” (See excerpts from the speech towards the end of this Article.)
In response to the welcome speech of Chairman Kim, Ambassador Alba Rosa Florio Legnani of Uruguay said, “At the same time it has been an excellent opportunity to know more about the Bamboo Salt, (popular product for its health promoting effect), its origins, its prime quality, its benefits and process of industrialization, as a ship flag of the traditional health food of Korea and as a main factor in preservation and promotion of health.” (See excerpts from her speech at the end of this Article.)The speeches were followed by presentation of a Plaque of Appreciation by Ambassador Florio Legani of Uruguay to Chairman Kim Yun-se of Insanga Estate and then there was presentation of a gift (Insanga Bamboo Salt) to Ambassador Florio Legnani and later to all the participants in the Tour.
Following the luncheon hosted by Chairman Kim, the visiting ambassadors and other senior diplomats visited a good number of interesting places, including the production facilities of Banboo Salt and a Health Forest Path.
Following dinner, the guests were invited to attend the performances of the Traditional Classic Music of Korea, which included songs and dances as well as Pansori narrative songs.
On the following morning, the guests were invited to a pre-breakfast walk up on slope that took about an hour for Oxygen-filled fresh air of the mountain.
Following breakfast, the ambassadors and other senior diplomats visited the famous Byeoksong-sa Buddhist Temple, the fabulous Seoameong-sa Grotto, Jiri Mountain Lodge and the Jiri Mountain Observatory.
On all tours for the two consecutive days, Chairman Kim of Insanga rode the same Limousine bus with the ambassadors and other tours, which was very rare for the host to accompany the guests throughout the two-day tour with the sole exception of the night when he went home to stay with his family.
The other members of the visiting group of diplomats, besides the two ambassadors, were Mrs. Anna Menkveld (spouse of the ambassador of the Netherlands, Mrs. Marina Quinteiro Nobre (spouse of the ambassador of Portugal and Mrs. Rosanna Bellolio Pasini (spouse of the ambassador of Chile); Economic Counsellor Muhammad Nizam Ashary of Malaysia, Acting Representative Ms. Zamira Ashirova of the UN Project Office on Governance, UN NGO Peace Ambassador Ferdinand Renz for Germany and Seoul Bureau Chief Valeri Ogai of the Rossiyskie Koreitsy Russian News Agency.
Welcome speech by Chairman Kim Yun-se:
Welcome Excellencies and Madams and other distinguished guests to our Insanga Estate.
I am Mr. Kim Yun-se, Chairman of Insanga and professor of alternative medicine at Gwangju University, who has industrialized for the first time in the world the Bamboo Salt, a health salt that is made by roasting salt in bamboo tubes.
First of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all the distinguished guests here as a Korean businessman and an alternative medicine scholar of the Republic of Korea.
Here we are at the foot of the Sambong-san Mountain at the Hamyang County of Gyeongsangnam-do Province adjoining the Jiri Mountains that are noted for the striking beauty of landscapes and fresh air. This is the very place where I industrialized the bamboo salt for the first time in the world in pursuit of the ideals of the late Korean alternative medicine scholar, Mr. Kim Ilhun, who is my father.
The Bamboo Salt is made with natural salt collected from the salt farm on the beach of the West Coast where the salt is sun-dried. The naturally sun-dried salt is put into tubes of thick-stemmed bamboo that grows in the clean environment at the foot of the Jiri Mountains. Then they are roasted nine times inside a kiln. So it is a premium health salt.
I presume that Your Excellencies and Madams are familiar with the representative foods of Korea such as Kimchi, hot pepper sauce and soy sauce, etc., and also the foods made using them such as Bulgogi and Bibimbap.
However, you may not be as familiar with Juk-yeom Bamboo Salt which is a mineral-rich health salt, and therefore I would like to give a brief explanation although we will have an opportunity later to make a full introduction.
Here is how the Bamboo Salt is made:
First: The sun-dried natural salt just collected from the salt farm on the beach of the West Coast is put into a bag and is kept under a shade for some time so that the bittern which is a heavy metal is removed from the salt.
Second: We use thick-stemmed bamboo growing near the Jiri Mountains and therefore containing much sulfur. We cut the bamboo at each joint, put bittern-free salt into the bamboo tube, and block the top with clay obtained from an untrodden spot of a remote mountain.
Third: We put the bamboo tubes filled the salt in a kiln and roast them using pine wood as fuel. We use only Korean pine wood.
Fourth: After the salt-stuffed bamboo tubes are completely burnt, there remain only white salt sticks as the bamboo tubes have been reduced to ashes. The roasted salt sticks are then smashed into powder and then put into bamboo tubes for the second time. Its top is again sealed with clay and is roasted in the kiln for the second time.
This process is repeated eight times after the first one, which means that the salt in bamboo tube is roasted nine times all together.
Fifth and last: When the bamboo salt is roasted for the ninth time, it is put inside a special furnace and burnt in a fire that is over 1,700 degrees in temperature. The salt at this stage is melted into liquid like lava or molten ore. When this molten salt is cooled, it becomes a hard mass of salt. This is then smashed into power and it is the high-quality mineral bamboo salt.
Our ancestors started development of bamboo salt in this manner over 160 years ago and the secret method of making bamboo salt was further developed by my father, Insan, who had an outstanding insight. It is difficult to explain fully the principle and efficacy of the bamboo salt within limited time.
However, we can state that our Bamboo Salt was made based on a unique traditional Korean medical theory of Master Insan which is unprecedented either in the East or West. The Bamboo Salt is a representative traditional health food of Korea which was developed and produced in the cleanest natural environment of this region.
I trust that the Excellencies, Madams and other distinguished guests are aware that mineral is good for health. Any and all impure matters are completely removed from the salt through burning of it in high temperatures except the health-promoting mineral that continues to remain in bamboo salt.
Inheriting the wisdom and instruction of my father, Insan Kim Ilhun, I developed Bamboo Salt here at Insan in August 1987 and industrialized it for the first time in the world, and thus made it possible for the consumes and clientele to purchase it at a low price for their production of medicine and food.
For the past 30-plus years, I have given lectures and published books to remind the people of the importance of the life and health of the people and I am happy to disclose that a large number of people have benefited from our Bamboo Salt in their recovery, preservation and promotion of health. I am so happy today to have this valuable opportunity to introduce the strong points of our Bamboo Salt to the distinguished ambassadors and guests from your esteemed countries of the world. I feel all the more rewarded as I recollect my father’s wish that our Bamboo Salt should serve to promote the health of the whole mankind.
It is very meaningful for me to have this opportunity to share the medical philosophy of my father with all the distinguished foreign guests here in view of his instruction and wish that Insan Bamboo Salt must serve the mankind for the promotion of their health. I hope that Your Excellencies, Madams and other distinguished guests will have a good experience here and take home many beautiful, fond memories of your tour here.
Congratulatory speech by Ambassador Alba Rosa Florio Legnani of Uruguay:
Professor Kim Yun-Se, Chairman of Insanga, Distinguished guests
On behalf of the diplomats here today, receive our sincere and deepest gratitude for your invitation and the opportunity you are given us to visit this special and legendary place.
It is for us a great pleasure to be at the Gyeongsangnam-do Province, near these fantastic mountains, surrounded by incredible views and breathing pure and fresh air coming from the dense forest.
At the same time it has been an excellent opportunity to know more about the Bamboo Salt, (popular product for its health promoting effect), its origins, its prime quality, its benefits and process of industrialization, as a ship flag of the traditional health food of Korea and as a main factor in preservation and promotion of health.
Thanks again for sharing with us your father´s medical philosophy, something very valuable for you, and receive our best wishes of success and prosperity.