People enjoy boating on the River Taedong which flows through the capital city of Pyongyang in balmy spring. Blue boats and people with red life jackets look like flowers floating on the river. The spectacular scene attracts the attention of passers-by, making them stop and watch.
I met caretaker Kim Yong Sim on the crowded shore.
“Many people are coming for boating every day. Look! Today, too, lots of people have come and the river seems to be full of flowers. Among them are old people and they express pleasure, saying they get 10 or 20 years younger.”
I met secondary schoolchildren loudly talking with excitement. They had just got off the boats. They looked like classmates.
One exclaimed happily:
“I thought I could manage to row well, but actually it was rather difficult. But I found the secret and it was really interesting.”
His friend said:
“We had pictures taken while boating.”
While having a chat with them, I found a little boy demanding to his parents that he stay in the boat. He was wearing a life jacket, which looked very cute.
The little boy said:
“My name is Kim Yon Phyong. I am attending the Taedongmun Kindergarten.”
His father said:
“I am relaxed from fatigue and feel refreshed. Boating is also good for educating children, I think.”
His mother said:
“I feel refreshed and feel joy and optimism.”
They boarded the boat again, and I accompanied them. I found old men with their grandchildren, youngsters whispering with each other and students lost in thought aboard the boats floating on the river. Some schoolchildren were rowing without letup to go ahead of others and some boys disputing in a boat turning round and round at one place, evoking laughter. Our boat sailed fast, as we were feasting our eyes on the sky-high Tower of the Juche Idea, the Okryu Bridge, ship restaurant “Taedonggang´´ and high-rise apartment houses.
I met the boys who disputed in a boat, and now they were rowing well.
“At first, we rowed separately and our boat revolved at a place. So we rowed in one direction, keeping time with each other, shouting ‘one’, ‘two’ – ‘one’, ‘two’.”
The other said:
“As we pooled our strength and minds, our boat sailed fast. We were really pleased.”
The two boys seemed to be friendlier, while boating. Seeing them skilfully rowing, I came out to the shore. Boating was pleasant, and the view was also interesting. People got off boats with an air of satisfaction.
Looking around at the shore of the river I talked with youngsters.
“The street we walk along every day is really beautiful when viewed from the middle of the river. The street, the passers-by and the scenery–all of them are beautiful, indeed.”
“When I looked round in the middle of the river, I felt beauty of my country all the more. The scenery of the River Taedong including the Okryu Bridge is fantastic. I think that we, the younger generations, should more firmly defend and glorify our beautiful motherland.”
Enjoying boating, people feel joy and optimism as well as pride of the country. In the boating-ground, I felt warm love of people for socialism and their burning enthusiasm to devote themselves to the building of socialism.