SEOUL: The Republic of Korea (ROK) has honoured a Nepali national with the honorary citizenship of Korea.
Nepali national Nawaraj Shivakoti received the honorary citizenship of South Korea on December 1 amid a programme organised by Seoul Metropolis. The Metropolis honours foreign nationals with this award every year.
South Korea honoured Shivakoti with this award for his role as a bridge to build cultural and economic relations between Nepal and South Korea.
Mayor of the Metropolis, Oh Se-hoon, presented a letter of felicitation, certificate of honorary citizenship and a silver medal to Shivakoti.
The Korean government honours foreigners, who contribute to the development of South Korea, with honorary citizenship. International Relations Division under the Ministry of Planning and Administration of Seoul Metropolitan government calls proposal for honorary citizenship targeting the foreign nationals.
Anyone, who thinks himself/herself capable to get this honour, can file an application and thirty people residing in South Korea, especially in the Seoul Metropolis, should recommend it.
The Metropolis honours one or two persons with honorary citizenship every year.
Shivakoti is among 10 Nepalis honoured with the Honorary Korean Citizenship so far. Nearly 900 citizens of more than 100 countries around the world have received honorary citizenship since 1958.
Before Shivakoti, Nepali citizens KP Sitaula, Tenzi Sherpa, Raju Chhetri, Harka Bahadur Gurung, Junu Gurung, Gambhir Man Shrestha, Bipin Gurung, Sujan Shakya, Bhajindra Chhetri and Bhanu Shrestha have been honoured with Korean citizenship.
A permanent resident of Biratnagar Metropolitan City in Morang district, Shivakoti is a businessman, cultural artist and a volunteer. He had entered Korea as a worker in 2006. Pursuing Bachelor’s level studies in Economics and Political Science, Shivakoti said he left studies and chose to come to Korea thinking that there is a future in this country.
The Employment Permit System (EPS) had not been introduced then and he came here through a placement agency — Moondrops Manpower. Nepal and the South Korean governments signed an agreement regarding EPS in 2008.
“I thought of starting a business here in Korea itself with the money that I had earned working at the same company for 11 years. There was a lot of business prospect as well,” he said. He started running the Nirosha Restaurant in the capital Seoul at an investment of about Rs 130 million.
His fame gradually started spreading throughout South Korea as the manager of the restaurant serving especially Nepali and Indian dishes.
Shivakoti served as the advisor of various organisations as NRNA, NCC South Korea chapters and the Purbanchal Sarokar Samaj South Korea from the beginning. He is still associated with different organisations.
He also started establishing contact with local police and volunteering through various organisations here during his free time. He has got the opportunity to participate in the Asian Culture and incorporate the Nepali culture as well since 2017. From 2019 to 2021, he also worked as a volunteer in the campaign to prevent drug abuse among children below 18.
Shivakoti shared that his continued assistance in spreading awareness against Covid 19 and its vaccination has won him this honour. “This title of Honorary Citizenship is an honour and a matter of happiness for entire Nepal,” Shivakoti commented after receiving the honour.
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